Facebook removes President Trump post claiming Covid is ‘far less lethal’ than flu

Facebook has removed a post from US President Donald Trump in which he claimed Covid-19 is “far less lethal” than seasonal flu.

Tuesday, 6th October 2020, 5:38 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th October 2020, 5:54 pm

Mr Trump returned to the White House on Monday evening after spending three days at the Walter Reed Medical Center, where he was receiving treatment having tested positive for Covid-19.

He wrote the US had "learned to live with” flu season, “just like we are learning to live with Covid, in most populations far less lethal!!!”

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A Facebook spokesperson confirmed the company deleted the post for breaking its rules on Covid-19 misinformation.

US President Donald Trump.
US President Donald Trump.

“We remove incorrect information about the severity of Covid-19, and have now removed this post,” said Andy Stone, policy communications manager at Facebook.

Twitter hid the same message behind a warning about “spreading misleading and potentially harmful information”.

“Doctors and scientists are working to estimate the mortality rate of Covid-19, but at present, it is thought to be substantially higher (possibly 10 times or more) than that of most strains of the flu,” a Johns Hopkins University fact sheet reads.

Both Facebook and Twitter have pledged to combat potentially dangerous misinformation around Covid-19.

On Monday evening, shortly before his release from hospital, Mr Trump wrote on Twitter that the country has no reason to fear Covid-19 and adding: ‘Don't let it dominate your life’.

In his tweet, Trump said: “Feeling really good! Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life.

“We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!”

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