Donald Trump knows firsthand what it’s like to have COVID-19, and he also knows what it’s like to have the best medical treatment immediately available. Yet, less than a day after being released from the Walter Reed Medical Center, Trump posted messages to social media downplaying the severity of coronavirus. Facebook responded by taking down the post, while Twitter flagged it with a warning label, reports Mashable.
Trump’s post to social media on Tuesday morning seemed completely unbothered by the ongoing pandemic. “Flu season is coming up!” it read. “Many people every year, sometimes over 100,000, and despite the Vaccine, die from the Flu. Are we going to close down our Country? No, we have learned to live with it, just like we are learning to live with Covid, in most populations far less lethal!!!”
While people still die from the flu, the numbers used in Trump’s post are grossly inflated — during the entire 2019-2020 season, only 24,000 people in the US died from the flu, which is on par for the years before then — and falsely equate it with the deadly COVID-19 virus, which still has no vaccine available unlike the flu does. As a reminder, the US has already had 210,000 deaths from COVID-19 in barely six months. And to think, the only reason that number isn’t even high is because of how many people have been quarantining and social distancing as urged by the CDC.
Facebook chose to remove Trump’s posts shrugging off the coronavirus pandemic. “We remove incorrect information about the severity of COVID-19, and have now removed this post,” a Facebook spokesperson told Mashable when explaining their decision.
As for Twitter, they decided to keep Trump’s tweets with the same rhetoric up, but hide the post in users’ timelines. In order to see it, users must click the “view” button. Twitter also attached a warning that reads, “This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.”
Flu season is coming up! Many people every year, sometimes over 100,000, and despite the Vaccine, die from the Flu. Are we going to close down our Country? No, we have learned to live with it, just like we are learning to live with Covid, in most populations far less lethal!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 6, 2020