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Facebook, Twitter Take Action Against Trump Posts Comparing COVID-19 To the Flu

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Less than a day after he was discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center due to contracting COVID-19, President Donald Trump is encouraging Americans not to let the virus “dominate” their lives.

On Tuesday, the president took to Twitter to compare the coronavirus to the flu, “Flu season is coming up! Many people every year, sometimes over 100,000, and despite the Vaccine, die from the Flu. Are we going to close down our Country?”

He continued, “No, we have learned to live with it, just like we are learning to live with Covid, in most populations far less lethal!”

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1313449844413992961

The president’s Facebook account also shared the same message about the virus. 

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However, CNN reported that Facebook took the post down. 

Andy Stone, a Facebook spokesperson, told The Hill, “We remove incorrect information about the severity of COVID-19, and have now removed this post.”

The action appeared to be in response to the latter part of Trump’s tweet where he said COVID-19 is “far less lethal” than the flu in “most populations.” As CNN noted, more Americans have died from the virus than in all of the past five flu seasons combined.

Facebook was not alone in taking action to address Trump’s comments. Twitter flagged his tweet for violating the platform’s rules “about spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19.”

On Tuesday afternoon, after the platforms took action against the president’s message, he tweeted, “REPEAL SECTION 230!!!”

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1313511340124917760

Section 230 refers to a portion of the Communications Decency Act, which gives the social media companies immunity from legal action in response to how they moderate content on their platforms.

Trump’s comments come days after he contracted COVID-19 and was sent to Walter Reed. During his treatment, Trump was given dexamethasone — a steroid that is typically administered to those battling a severe case of the virus.

On Monday, he sent out a tweet to announce that he would be returning to the White House and claimed he felt “better than I did 20 years ago!”

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He also released a video encouraging Americans to “not be afraid” of the virus and touted the therapeutics he was administered to combat the virus. 

In case you missed it:

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1313267615083761665

Trump’s message did not go over well with some health experts. William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine and infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, said, “I was aghast when he said COVID should not be feared.”

He added, “This is a disease that is killing around a thousand people a day, has torpedoed the economy, put people out of work. This is a virus that should be both respected and feared.”

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