President Biden has a simple yet powerful message for platforms like Facebook, where misinformation surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine is running rampant.
"They're killing people," said Biden when asked what he'd say to the social network. He adds that "the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated," echoing sentiments Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky made earlier Friday. Meetings between the administration and Facebook in recent weeks have reportedly been "tense," per CNN.
The president's remarks are tied to a larger White House offensive, one in which the administration is targeting the deluge of COVID-19 vaccine misinformation and the platforms disseminating it — specifically Mark Zuckerberg's. On Thursday, Press Secretary Jen Psaki called on Facebook to "move more quickly to remove violative posts," and make public information about who and how many people are interacting with misleading content. She added that there are about 12 people producing "65 percent of anti-vaccine misinformation on social media platforms," CNN reports.
And on Friday, Psaki shut down claims of government "spying," saying the administration does not remove Facebook posts, nor is any of the content they're flagging private. "Our biggest concern here — and I frankly think it should be your biggest concern — is the number of people who are dying around the country because they are getting misinformation that is leading them to not take a vaccine," she said.