The US government has accused social media companies of being responsible for the recent increase in deaths from Covid-19 in the country. This is because platforms such as Facebook would not act sufficiently against misinformation about the corona vaccines. “They are killing people.”
The number of confirmed corona infections in the United States has increased by 70 percent in the past week compared to the week before, to an average of 30,000 cases per day. As a result, deaths have increased by 26 percent to an average of 250 per day. In addition, 99.5 percent of people now admitted to hospitals with Covid-19 have not been vaccinated.
President Joe Biden promised that 70 percent of adult Americans would have their first shot by July 4. However, that goal was not achieved: ‘only’ 68.2 percent of adults already received at least one shot. Since that national holiday, infection and death rates have been steadily growing again, while the vaccination campaign is increasingly slack. More than 4 million injections were made per day at the peak in April, and now there are only 400,000.
Vivek Murthy, head of the US public health service, blames social media companies. According to Murthy, these feed false stories about the safety and effectiveness of the corona vaccines. The “toxic misinformation” is spreading like wildfire, with the help and encouragement of social media companies, he told Fox News on Sunday.
President Joe Biden also said on Saturday that social media companies like Facebook are “killing people.” “The only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated.”
Facebook then defended itself. It claims to promote information from reliable sources while acting aggressively against misinformation. More than 2 billion people have seen reliable information about Covid-19 and vaccines on Facebook. That’s more than any other place online. More than 3.3 million Americans have also used our tool to find a vaccine. The facts show that we save lives. Period.” According to the company, the Biden administration is looking for scapegoats for its own failed vaccination campaign.
Surgeon General Murthy admits that the companies have made efforts but feels that not enough has been done. “We still see a large spread of misinformation online.” Murthy believes the platforms should “recognize that they have played a major role in the growing scale and speed at which misinformation spreads.”
Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar says there must be consequences for Facebook. “Two-thirds of people who haven’t been vaccinated say it’s because they saw something on social media.”
According to a survey published by CBS News on Sunday, vaccine hesitancy is on the rise.