Facebook, Twitter Remove Video Posts From Trump, Citing False COVID-19 Information

Facebook, Twitter Remove Video Posts From Trump, Citing False COVID-19 Information
Facebook and Twitter logos are seen on a shop window in Malaga, Spain, on June 4, 2018. (Jon Nazca/Reuters)
Mimi Nguyen Ly

Facebook and Twitter removed posts from President Donald Trump late Wednesday, citing COVID-19 misinformation.

The post from the president showed a video excerpt from an interview he conducted with Fox News, in which he said that children are "almost immune" to COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus. Facebook was first to remove the post, followed later by Twitter.

A Facebook policy spokesperson, Andy Stone, said in a statement to news outlets that the video "includes false claims that a group of people is immune from Covid-19 which is a violation of our policies around harmful Covid misinformation." The spokesperson added that Trump's comments regarding children being almost immune to the virus had violated Facebook rules.

The link to the Facebook post now reads "Sorry, this content isn't available at the moment."

Trump's social media posts have been removed from Facebook multiple times before, however, this marks the first time the president's post was removed from Facebook due to sharing COVID-19 commentary that the platform has deemed misinformation.

A Twitter spokesperson, Nick Pacilio, said in an announcement that the original Twitter post by the Trump campaign, which was reposted by Trump, "is in violation of the Twitter Rules on COVID-19 misinformation, and we've required removal."
The link to the original Twitter post now reads, "This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules."

In response to Facebook and Twitter's removals, Courtney Parella, deputy national press secretary for the Trump campaign, said in a statement to The Epoch Times: "Another day, another display of Silicon Valley’s flagrant bias against this President, where the rules are only enforced in one direction."

"Social media companies are not the arbiters of truth," she added. "The President was stating a fact that children are less susceptible to the coronavirus."

Parella also wrote, "The Twitter employee who explained why our account was suspended is also Kamala Harris’s former press secretary."

At a press conference on Wednesday, Trump was asked about his comments to Fox News regarding children being "almost immune."

"When I say that I’m talking about [immune] from getting very sick, I mean, if you look at children, I mean, they’re able to throw it off very easily," he replied. "And it’s an amazing thing, because some flus, they don’t, they get very sick, and they have problems with flus and they have problems with other things, but for whatever reason, [with regard to] the China virus, children handle it very well.

"And they may get it, but they get it and it doesn’t have much of an impact on them, and if you look at the numbers, the numbers in terms of mortality, fatality, the numbers for children under a certain age, meaning young, their immune systems are very very strong, they’re very powerful, they seem to be able to handle it very well, and that’s according to every statistic."

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on July 23 issued a new version of its CCP virus guidelines for schools, strongly favoring a return to in-person learning in the fall. The agency said that, based on the “best available evidence,” the CCP virus poses relatively low risks to school-aged children.
 School bus driver delivers meals to children and their families in Seattle, Wash., on May 6, 2020. (Karen Ducey/Getty Images)
School bus driver delivers meals to children and their families in Seattle, Wash., on May 6, 2020. (Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

“Children appear to be at lower risk for contracting COVID-19 compared to adults,” the guidelines state.

Citing its own figures, the agency said that as of July 17, children and adolescents under 18 years old in the United States account for under 7 percent of CCP virus cases, and less than 0.1 percent of COVID-19-related deaths.

Further, the CDC said, there are few reports of children being the “primary drivers” of the spread of COVID-19 in schools, or in the community.

“No studies are conclusive, but the available evidence provides reason to believe that in-person schooling is in the best interest of students, particularly in the context of appropriate mitigation measures similar to those implemented at essential workplaces,” the CDC said.

The CDC acknowledged that “relatively little” is known about how the CCP virus spreads to children.

“While uncommon, deaths and rare illness … may occur,” the agency said.

Isabel van Brugen contributed to this report.