On Thursday, the “Fox & Friends” hosts addressed Facebook and Twitter’s removal of an interview clip from the previous day’s show where President Trump claimed children are “virtually immune” from the coronavirus. The social media platforms said the video violated the companies’ policies around COVID-19 misinformation.
Host Brian Kilmeade defined their actions as “Big Tech vs. the White House.” After a brief correspondent report on what happened after Trump’s re-election campaign shared the Fox News video on Twitter and Facebook, Kilmeade quipped, “Absolutely incredible. All of those great doctors in Silicon Valley will decide what is right and what is wrong.”
“So much for Mark Zuckerberg saying he wouldn’t be the arbiter of truth,” added Pete Hegseth. “Out the window.”
“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,” a Facebook spokesperson told TheWrap Wednesday of the clip, in which Trump argued schools should reopen because children are “virtually immune” to the coronavirus, which, he said, “will go away like things go away.”
The company also said this is the first time the company has taken down a post from the president due to COVID-19 misinformation.
A Twitter spokesperson told TheWrap that the video — uploaded by the Trump campaign’s @teamtrump account and then shared by Trump from his personal account — also violated Twitter’s COVID-19 misinformation policies and that the account owner would need to remove the post before it could tweet again. (The video has since been taken down by the @teamtrump account.)
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, updated Tuesday, shows children under 18 make up 7.3% of coronavirus cases. The CDC’s website said on July 17 that children under 18 made up only 2% of cases at the time.