- Facebook said the video contained "harmful misinformation about COVID-19."
- A Twitter spokesperson said "TeamTrump's" tweet "violates Twitter's Rules of Misinformation about COVID-19."
- This is not the first time the social media giants have punished Trump or those connected to him.
Facebook and Twitter removed posts by US President Donald Trump and his campaign Wednesday in which they declared that children were “almost immune” to the coronavirus. Facebook removed the post containing a video clip from an interview Mr. Trump gave to Fox News.
Facebook said the video contained “harmful misinformation about COVID-19.” Twitter followed, saying it froze a Trump 2020 campaign account until the account in question deleted a tweet containing the same clip. A statement by the US Department of Public Health states that a child is not immune to COVID-19.
A Facebook spokesperson said Wednesday night that “this 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.”
This is the first time the social media giant has acted to remove content posted by the president based on the coronavirus misinformation policy, but not the first time it penalized Mr. Trump for the content on his Facebook page.
Late on Wednesday, Twitter said it froze the campaign account because it posted the same excerpt of the interview, which President Trump’s account shared. A Twitter spokesperson said @TeamTrump’s tweet “violates Twitter’s Rules of Misinformation about COVID-19.”
“The account owner will be asked to delete the Tweet before they can retweet it.” The tweet in question now appears to have been deleted.
Twitter last month temporarily suspended the account of Trump’s son, Donald Jr, for sharing a clip on Twitter, saying it was promoting “misinformation” about coronavirus and hydroxychloroquine.
In March, Twitter said a tweet by businessman Elon Musk hinted that children are “essentially immune” to the coronavirus that didn’t break those rules.
Speaking by phone on Wednesday’s Fox and Friends, Trump argued that it was time for all schools across the country to reopen.
“[Children] may get it, but it doesn’t have much of an impact on them and if you look at the numbers, the numbers of — in terms of mortality, fatality, the numbers for children under a certain age meaning young — their immune systems are very strong,”
Trump added, “they are very powerful and they seem to be able to handle it very well. That’s according to every statistic.” Trump’s downside makes Biden, who some consider a weak opponent, look strong.
How Dangerous is COVID-19 for Children?
Children can get and pass the virus, but the risk of getting seriously ill with the virus is extremely low. Adults— and especially the elderly— are at increased risk of serious illness and death from viral complications. The largest study done to date, with more than 55,000 patients hospitalized, showed that only 0.8% of the patients were under 19 years of age.
Half of confirmed coronavirus-infected people were admitted to critical care units in England, Wales and Northern Ireland at about 60 years of age as of July 31, according to a charity research organization.
A recent US study of coronavirus infections among 7,780 children from 26 countries found that almost one in five patients had no symptoms. One in five others has lung damage during the infection.
A study from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found that people under the age of 20 are infected with coronavirus at a rate of about 50% compared with people over 20 years old.
There have been some extremely rare cases of children developing an inflammatory syndrome similar to Kawasaki Disease, and scientists are studying a possible slow immune response to the coronavirus.