Trump Facebook post claiming Covid 'less lethal' than flu deleted

6 October 2020, 21:08

Twitter hid the message behind a warning about "spreading misleading and potentially harmful information"
Twitter hid the message behind a warning about "spreading misleading and potentially harmful information". Picture: PA

Facebook has deleted a post by President Donald Trump for disinformation and Twitter has added a warning after he claimed Covid-19 is "less lethal" than the flu.

The statement was posted only hours after the President was released from hospital after having tested positive for the virus.

Writing on Twitter, Mr Trump said: "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? No, we have learned to live with it, just like we are learning to live with Covid in most populations far less lethal!"

Twitter hid the message behind a warning about "spreading misleading and potentially harmful information".

The message reads: "This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to Covid-19.

"However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public's interest for the Tweet to remain accessible."

Read more: UK records 14,542 new coronavirus cases and 76 deaths

Facebook deleted the same message for breaking the platform's rules on Covid-19 misinformation.

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

Around 210,195 Americans have died with Covid-19 whereas flu death rates have ranged from 12,000 and 61,000 annually since 2010, according to the CDC.

It is not currently known what the exact mortality rate for Covid-19 is, although Johns Hopkins University says it could possibly be 10 times higher or more.

In August, Facebook deleted a post by the President which included a link to a Fox News video in which he claimed children are "virtually immune" to the virus.

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Facebook said the video "includes false claims which is a violation of our policies around harmful Covid misinformation".

Mr Trump returned to the White House on Monday night aboard Marine One, climbing the South Portico steps before removing his mask and giving a double thumbs-up from the terrace.

He entered the White House, where aides were visible in the Blue Room, without wearing a face covering.

In a video released later, he offered a nonchalant take on the virus, contravening the public health warnings of his own administration that Americans take the threat seriously and to take precautions to avoid contracting and spreading the disease as cases continue to spike.

"Don't be afraid of it," Mr Trump said, while taking deeper breaths than usual. "You're going to beat it. We have the best medical equipment, we have the best medicines."

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