President Joe Biden did not equivocate when asked what on message to platforms like Facebook that host COVID misinformation. Biden told reporters that “they’re killing people.”
Biden spoke briefly with reporters on Friday and was asked: “On COVID misinformation, what’s your message to platforms like Facebook?”
“They’re killing people,” Biden said. “Well look, the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated. And they’re killing people.”
Facebook has come under fire for hosting a number of prominent vaccine misinformation accounts. The Center for Countering Digital Hate found in May, for instance, that just 12 people produce 65 percent of the shares of anti-vaccine misinformation.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Thursday that all these accounts remained on Facebook and that the platform “needs to move more quickly to remove harmful violative posts.”
The comments from Psaki and the president himself signal a ramping up of pressure from the White House on tech giants.
The rate of vaccinations has slowed in the U.S. even as the more transmissible Delta variant has taken hold. Just above 48 percent of all Americans — any age — are fully vaccinated, although 68 percent of adults have had at least one dose.