The hypocrisy never ceases to amaze.
This past week we learned that Facebook and Twitter were removing tweets from @TeamTrump that had done nothing more than post a clip of President Trump saying on Fox & Friends that children are “almost immune from this disease.”
The story was everywhere. This version is from NPR, which headlines the story this way: "Twitter, Facebook Remove Trump Post Over False Claim About Children And COVID-19."
“Both Twitter and Facebook have removed a post shared by President Trump for breaking their rules against spreading coronavirus misinformation.
Twitter temporarily blocked the Trump election campaign account from tweeting until it removed a post with a video clip from a Fox News interview from Wednesday morning, in which the president urged schools to reopen, falsely claiming that children are ‘almost immune from this disease.’”
Statements from spokespeople for both Facebook and Twitter were included.
Facebook: “This video includes false claims that a group of people is immune from COVID-19 which is a violation of our policies around harmful COVID misinformation,’ said Andy Stone, a Facebook spokesperson.”
Twitter: “‘The @TeamTrump Tweet you referenced is 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,’ said Twitter spokesperson Trenton Kennedy.”
Hmmm. It doesn’t take long to do a little research and find the following, decidedly-similar-to-the President reports from, yes indeed, liberal media flagships. Specifically that would be The Washington Post, Time magazine and the BBC.
Here is The Post headline: "Here’s What We Know About Kids and Covid-19."
The Post story says:
“Estimates by midyear indicated that only 2% to 5% of individuals with laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 were under 18 years old. That’s well below that age group’s share of the global population, which hovers around 30%. Compared to adults, children with Covid-19 typically have milder symptoms that are predominantly limited to the nose, throat and upper airway, and they rarely require hospitalization.
…Children younger than 10 are significantly less susceptible to the virus than teenagers and adults, according to research by scientists at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston and the University of St Andrews in Scotland that was released ahead of peer review and publication in July.”
Here is the Time magazine headline: "Here's What the Science Actually Says About Kids and COVID-19."
The Time story says:
“Putting politics aside, what the science so far shows is this: young kids may be less likely to get sick from COVID-19 and rarely get very ill if they do show symptoms, and they seem to be less likely to infect other people. This June study, which examined epidemiological data from China and five other countries, found that people under 20 are about half as likely to get infected as older people, and only 21% of people between 10 and 19 years old who become infected show symptoms.”
And the BBC? Their headline was this: "Facebook and Twitter restrict Trump accounts over 'harmful' virus claim."
The BBC story says:
“How dangerous is coronavirus for children?
Children can catch and transmit the virus, but they run an extremely low risk of becoming ill from it.”
The BBC goes on to quote two scientific studies on this, with links provided.
“The largest study done so far, involving more than 55,000 hospital patients, found that only 0.8% were under the age of 19.
Half of all the people with confirmed coronavirus who were admitted to critical care units in England, Wales and Northern Ireland were 60 or older as of 31 July, according to a research charity.
A recent US study of coronavirus cases among 7,780 children from 26 countries found almost one in five patients had no symptoms. Another one in five developed lesions on their lungs during the infection.
Some 3.3% were admitted to intensive care units and seven deaths were reported, according to the research from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
A study from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found that people under 20 were about half as susceptible to coronavirus infection as those over 20.”
So. What do we have here?
We have the President’s statement that children are “almost immune from this disease” yanked by both Facebook and Twitter because, they say, he was spreading “misinformation.”
Meanwhile we have The Washington Post saying “only 2% to 5% of individuals with laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 were under 18 years old”, TIME saying “what the science so far shows is this: young kids may be less likely to get sick from COVID-19 and rarely get very ill if they do show symptoms”, and the BBC saying children “run an extremely low risk of becoming ill from it.”
The question, since all three outlets are saying a version of what the President said? When will Facebook and Twitter block The Washington Post, Time magazine and the BBC from posting what Twitter labeled “misinformation” on their sites? Is there any punishment looming?
Answer? Don’t hold your breath.