US President Joe Biden on Friday accused the major operators of social networks, where false information is being circulated about coronavirus vaccines, of “killing people.”
“They are killing people. The only epidemic we are facing is people who have not been vaccinated. They are killing people,” Biden was quoted by AFP as saying, explaining that the president had been questioned about groups such as Facebook.
Biden’s statement comes a day after US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy delivered a similar speech, calling for a national effort to combat misinformation about the coronavirus and vaccination.
In his first statement as President Joe Biden’s Surgeon General, Murthy focused on the pandemic and warned that false information had led many people to reject vaccinations and public health advice such as wearing masks or social distancing.
The COVID-19 pandemic has already killed more than 600,000 people in the United States, but the pace of vaccination has begun to decline in the country.
Vivek Murthy believes this opposition to the vaccine is fueled by “fake news”.
Given the Internet’s role in spreading misinformation, Murthy urged technology companies and media platforms to make changes to their products and software so that they can reduce the dissemination of misinformation and, at the same time, increase access to reliable sources.
Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and other platforms have created systems to try to control misinformation. For example, this Thursday Twitter announced that it has removed more than 40,000 posts that violated its COVID-19 disinformation rules.
The COVID-19 pandemic has killed more than four million people worldwide, according to the latest report by AFP.
In Portugal, since the beginning of the epidemic, in March 2020, 17,194 people died and 922,747 cases of infection were recorded, according to the Directorate General of Health.
However, at the moment, more than 40% of the population of Portugal has already been fully vaccinated against the new coronavirus, and according to the Directorate General of Health, only 0.1% of people who have been fully vaccinated have contracted the virus.
The respiratory disease is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which was discovered in late 2019 in Wuhan, a city in central China, and currently with variants identified in countries such as the United Kingdom, India, South Africa, Brazil and Peru.