WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — President Joe Biden said social media platforms like Facebook are “killing people” by allowing misinformation to spread.
The comment came when reporters flagged him down as he left the White House for a weekend trip to Camp David.
“For COVID-19 misinformation, what’s your message to platforms like Facebook?” the reporter asked.
“They’re killing people,” Biden said. “I mean look, the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated. And they’re killing people.” The president then walked away.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki earlier on Friday also criticized the company.
“Obviously there are steps they have taken. They’re a private sector company. There are additional steps they can take. It’s clear that there are more that can be taken,” she said at a White House briefing.
Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.
Earlier Friday, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky also called the current surge a “pandemic of the unvaccinated“ as she pointed to rising cases nationwide. She said positive test results are up 70% over the last week, hospital admissions are up 36% and deaths rose by 26%. Nearly all hospital admissions and deaths, she says, are among the unvaccinated.
Thursday, U.S. surgeon general Vivek Murthy pleaded with tech companies to tighten their algorithms to clamp down on misinformation.
“Misinformation poses an imminent and insidious threat to our nation’s health,” Murthy said during remarks Thursday at the White House. “We must confront misinformation as a nation. Lives are depending on it.”
He also suggested teachers educate their students on media literacy and critical thinking.
Sydney Kalich, Tiffany Hudson, The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.
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