White House press secretary attacks Facebook and Twitter for ‘flagrant bias’ after they removed video of his interview claim that children are ‘almost immune’ from Covid-19

Donald Trump’s press secretary accused Silicon Valley of ‘flagrant bias’ after Facebook took down a post from the President’s personal page for making claims about children and coronavirus.

Trump had uploaded a video of an interview he gave to Fox News earlier on Wednesday, in which he claimed children are ‘almost immune’ to COVID-19.

‘The President was stating a fact that children are less susceptible to the coronavirus,’ Trump’s deputy national press secretary Courtney Parella said in an emailed statement.

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‘Another day, another display of Silicon Valley’s flagrant bias against this President, where the rules are only enforced in one direction. Social media companies are not the arbiters of truth.’  

A spokesperson for Trump’s campaign also leveled similar accusations of bias against Twitter.

‘The Twitter employee who announced why the account was briefly suspended is also Kamala Harris’s former press secretary. Silicon Valley is hopelessly biased against the President,’ the spokesperson said, according to Breaking911.

In the video, Trump said ‘[Children] have much stronger immune system than [adults],’ which the official account for his presidential campaign also tweeted.

This was first time Facebook has removed one of his posts for violating its content rules. 

In a statement, a spokesperson for Facebook said the president’s post was removed for violating the social media platform’s ‘policies around harmful COVID misinformation’. 

Twitter followed suit a short while after, ordering Trump’s campaign account, @TeamTrump, to remove its ‘misleading’ post featuring the same video and banning it from tweeting again until it agreed to do so.

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Trump had uploaded a video of an interview he gave to Fox News earlier Wednesday, in which he falsely claimed that children are ¿almost immune' from the disease

Trump had uploaded a video of an interview he gave to Fox News earlier Wednesday, in which he falsely claimed that children are ‘almost immune’ from the disease

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¿They have much stronger immune system than [adults],¿ Trump said in the video, which he also tweeted

‘They have much stronger immune system than [adults],’ Trump said in the video, which he also tweeted

A link to Trump's Facebook post now diverts to a page that says, 'This content isn't available right now'

A link to Trump’s Facebook post now diverts to a page that says, ‘This content isn’t available right now’Facebook removes Trump post on kids being ‘almost immune’ to COVIDLoaded: 0%Progress: 0%0:00PreviousPlaySkipMuteCurrent Time0:00/Duration Time2:00FullscreenNeed Text


Children are unlikely to fall seriously ill with Covid-19 and the risk of them dying from the disease is very low, dozens of studies have shown. 

Scientists warn children are not immune, however. Anyone can get infected with the virus — technically called SARS-CoV-2.

But eight months since the pandemic began in China, doctors around the world are still baffled as to why youngsters appear resistant to the disease. 

Reasons for their resilience to the disease are still unclear, despite a wave of trials devoted to unraveling the truth on the contentious topic.

Evidence shows the coronavirus preys on existing ill health and is most dangerous for the elderly. In comparison, the flu poses a big threat to children. 

Barely any children have died of Covid-19. Only six under-14s have succumbed to the illness in England and Wales, according to official data. 

Cambridge University’s Sir David Spiegelhalter said their risk was ‘unbelievably low’, adding: ‘I don’t think any [group] has been safer in the history of humanity.’

Statisticians analysing the outbreak in the UK even say youngsters are more likely to be hit by lightning than be killed by the virus. 

Cambridge academics say the death rate for under-14s is around 0.00068 per cent — the equivalent of seven deaths for every million cases. 

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine researchers found in June that children often escape the disease without any symptoms. 

Only 21 per cent of infected 10 to 19-year-olds had symptoms. By contrast, the rate of symptoms among over-70s was three times higher.

Getting fewer symptoms and milder illness may make children less likely to spread it, other researchers have claimed. 

But two major studies last week, from China and Germany, concluded that children are capable of transmitting the virus.

Some academics believe youngsters are better protected against Covid-19 because they are used to catching other less harmful coronaviruses. 

This may then teach their immune system to recognise SARS-CoV-2, allowing them to fight off the infection without getting seriously ill. 

Other experts say their body may be faster to react or their bodies better able to cope with viral infections because they are younger.

Twitter said the Team Trump post was ‘in violation of the Twitter Rules on COVID-19 misinformation. The account owner will be required to remove the Tweet before they can Tweet again.’

The Trump campaign account was active again late Wednesday after removing the post. Trump’s personal account also retweeted the video but it was removed after the original post was taken down. 

In the video in question, Trump was heard speaking in a phone interview with Fox News in which he argued schools across the nation should be re-opening. 

‘If you look at children, children are almost — and I would almost say definitely — but almost immune from this disease,’ Trump said. 

‘So few, they’ve got stronger, hard to believe, I don’t know how you feel about it, but they’ve got much stronger immune systems than we do somehow for this.

‘And they don’t have a problem, they just don’t have a problem,’ he added.

A link to Trump’s Facebook post now diverts to a page that says, ‘This content isn’t available right now.’ 

How likely children are to contract or spread the coronavirus has become a deeply contentious issue in the US, with reopening schools essential to enabling many parents to go back to work.

Trump has been calling for both businesses and schools to reopen as part of a push to revive the US economy, whose health will play a major factor in the coming presidential election.

A growing number of US school districts have opted however against in-person classes come September, opting to remain online-only until the pandemic has abated.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has concluded that children appear to transmit COVID-19 less than adults, and that many schools could re-open in the months ahead provided they take precautions such as social distancing and tracking local transmission rates.

Children are known to be far less likely to fall seriously ill or die from the virus: less than one percent of children who test positive for COVID-19 end up dying, according to a Europe-wide study released in June.

The study authors said the true percentage is likely much lower still, since many children with mild or no symptoms would not have been tested at all.

An analysis by the World Health Organization of 6 million infections between February 24 and July 12 found that the share of children aged five to 14 years was about 4.6 percent. 

This is the first time Facebook has removed a Trump post for COVID-19 misinformation, and marks a rare instance in which the company has been willing to censor the president. 

Trump has been repeatedly accused of spreading misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic – which has killed more than 156,000 Americans — including the now-infamous musing that virus victims could perhaps be injected with disinfectant.

After a brief change in tone last month, he recently reverted to medical speculation, criticizing his own top virus expert – and praising an eccentric preacher-doctor touting conspiracy theories.

Facebook has previously applied fact-check labels to Trump’s misleading posts about various subjects, including mail-in voting.

In June, the social media giant took down a series of Trump campaign ads that featured a symbol Nazis used to classify political prisoners during World War II. 

Facebook has been fiercely scrutinized on both sides of the partisan divide for its handling of Trump’s post.

The Mark Zuckerberg-owned company’s refusal to take action on posts in which the president appeared to call for violence against Black Lives Matter protesters sparked outrage among democrats, and helped to inspire the #StopHateForProfit boycott campaign that saw over a thousand companies cease advertising on the site.

Amid the fallout, Zuckerberg said in late June that Facebook will now remove posts that incite violence or attempt to suppress voting — even from political leaders — and that the company will affix labels on posts that violate hate speech or other policies.

Twitter has been much more forceful in its efforts to respond to what it deems to be policy violations from politicians, particularly Trump.

Twitter has applied several warning labels to the president’s tweets in recent months, identifying his posts as misleading, including on comments he made about ‘fraudulent’ mail-in ballots.

The president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., was also ordered to delete a misleading tweet by Twitter last month after making misleading claims about hydroxychloroquine. He was later suspended from the platform for 12 hours. 

Trump’s supporters have accused the likes of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, of harboring a liberal bias and unfairly censoring conservatives. 

Several Republican lawmakers made similar complaints to Zuckerberg during a high-profile tech antitrust hearing in Congress last month. 

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