October 20, 2021

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Vaccines and misinformation: Biden accused of ‘killing people’ on social media, Facebook responds

The tone between the White House and Facebook rose on Friday over misinformation about the vaccine: Joe Biden was accused of “killing people” and the platform dismissed criticism as “helping to save lives”. That’s all.

“They kill people. The only epidemic we’m that kills people who are not vaccinated. They kill people”: This is the definitive answer to the question of what news the US president is targeting groups like Facebook, as he prepares to leave the White House on Friday weekend.

The response from Mark Zuckerberg’s team has not been long, and it’s very bad: “Facts show that Facebook helps save lives, time,” the social network promised in a statement.

“We will not be sidelined by facts-based allegations,” the panel responded.

“More than 2 billion people have not found official information about vaccines on Govt-19 and Facebook anywhere else on the Internet. More than 3.3 million Americans have used our tool to find out where and how to get vaccinated,” he argues.

The White House, which is concerned that the vaccine campaign will be hampered in the same way that it has caused an upsurge in cases of the spread of delta diversity, has clearly tightened its tone against large technology groups and called for a further fight against misinformation.

“Infectious Diseases”

U.S. Chief Medical Officer Vivek Murthy said Friday that misinformation “kills lives.”

“Technology groups have allowed misinformation to contaminate our environment,” he added, calling on misinformation to act “quickly and consistently against the biggest distributors.”

“The news reaching us is clear: we are beginning to see an epidemic unknown,” Rochelle Valensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a federal public health agency, told a news conference on Friday.

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Over the past seven days, the United States has reported an average of 27,800 new cases daily – an increase of 64% over the previous week – 2,890 hospitalizations (+ 36%) and 223 deaths (+ 38%).

“Unknown people represent almost all hospitals and deaths,” said Jeff Giants, co-ordinator of the White House’s response to epidemics.

The re-emergence of this disease is triggered by delta variability, which now represents more than 80% of new cases, according to the special site Cove-Spectrum.

Vaccines currently available in the United States are very effective in protecting against Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, but the vaccine campaign in the country has declined significantly in recent weeks.

12 people, 65% misinformation

Joe Biden’s goal of having 70% of adults get at least one dose of the vaccine by July 4, National Day, has not been met. This rate will be 68% after 12 days.

Biden executive spokeswoman Jen Saki had already specifically targeted Facebook on Thursday.

“There are about 12 people on social media who produce 65% of the anti-vaccine misinformation. All of them are active on Facebook, some of which have been banned from other sites,” he said.

“Facebook needs to be fast to remove messages that are dangerous and break the rules. Messages that break their rules often last for days. It’s too long,” Jen Saki said.