“They kill people” or “They save lives”: Biden and Facebook collide over misinformation about vaccines

The tone was raised Friday between the White House and Facebook over the spread of false information about coronavirus vaccines: President Joe Biden He accused the social network of “killing people” and it responded that it was helping to “save lives.”

“They are killing people,” said the president when asked about his message to groups like Facebook in relation to the circulation of false information about the virus.

“The only pandemic we have is among those who are not vaccinated. They are killing people, ”he added before leaving for the weekend to Camp David.

The government of Biden has drastically hardened its tone this week against the big tech groups, calling on them to fight more against false information about covid vaccines.

Disinformation “costs lives,” said US Medical Director Vivek Murthy.

“Tech groups have allowed disinformation to contaminate our environment,” he added, calling for action “quickly and consistently against the biggest distributors” of false information.

Many of those who refuse to inoculate, despite the easy availability of doses throughout the United States, have said they do not trust vaccines.

Skepticism is being fueled both by fake posts made by anti-vaccine activists on social media and by Republican politicians who claim that vaccines are part of the government’s attempts to control.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Facebook and other groups are not doing enough against disinformation.

“There are about 12 people who are producing 65% of the misinformation against vaccines on social media platforms. All remain active on Facebook, despite the fact that some have even been banned from other platforms ”owned by Facebook, Psaki said on Thursday, without naming names.

– Facebook rejects criticism –

Mark Zuckerberg’s group, which has hired an army of independent fact-checkers, including from ., to try to clean its content of false information, rejected the White House’s claims.

“We will not be distracted by accusations that are not supported by facts,” a Facebook spokesperson told ..

More than 2 billion people accessed authoritative information about COVID-19 and vaccines on Facebook, which is far more than any other website, he said.

She added: “More than 3.3 million Americans have also used our Vaccine Search Tool to find out where and how to get vaccinated. The facts show that Facebook is helping save lives. Point”.

Previously, Facebook had said that it was taking “aggressive action against misinformation about covid-19 and vaccines to protect public health,” and that it had removed “more than 18 million pieces of misinformation about covid” and disabled accounts. that spread false information.

– “Pandemic of the unvaccinated” –

According to US health authorities, the current increase in COVID-19 infections and deaths across the country is almost exclusively affecting people who remain unvaccinated.

“There is a clear message that is getting through: this is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told reporters.

In the last seven days, the United States has registered an average of 27,800 new infections per day, 64% more than the previous week, 2,890 hospitalizations (+ 36%) and 223 deaths (+ 38%).

“Unvaccinated people account for nearly all hospitalizations and deaths,” said Jeff Zients, coordinator of pandemic response for the White House.

This resurgence of the disease is driven by the Delta variant, which now accounts for more than 80% of new cases, according to the specialized site cov-spectrum.

The vaccines currently available in the United States, from Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, are still very effective in protecting against the virus, but the vaccination campaign has slowed considerably in recent weeks in the country.

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