According to CNN, Trump argued that public schools should reopen because kids are “virtually immune” to the coronavirus, which is definitely a lie. Children have died after contracting COVID-19. And even though they are less likely to die from the virus, they can still experience bad symptoms or transmit it to others. For all of these reasons, children are categorically not “virtually immune.”
“If you look at children, children are almost — I would almost say definitely — but almost immune from this disease. So few — they’ve gotten stronger. Hard to believe,” Trump said. “I don’t know how you feel about it, but they have much stronger immune systems than we do, somehow, for this. And they don’t have a problem. They just don’t have a problem.”
Following up this nonsense, he added, “the fact is that they are virtually immune from this problem.”
Facebook removed a clip of Trump's comments, claiming it violated the platform's policies regarding coronavirus misinformation. "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,” a Facebook spokesperson told NBC.
We’ve already seen cases increase as schools start to open. This week, a Georgia second grader tested positive after his first day of school. CNN reports that researchers in South Korea discovered that children between the ages of 10 and 19 are able to transmit COVID-19 as much as adults.
"We know the risk is low to the actual students. But we know they can transmit to others,” US Surgeon General Jerome Adams told CBS News last month. “We need to take measures to make sure we protect those who are vulnerable either because they are older or they have chronic medical conditions."
The U.S. has passed 160,000 deaths. When responding to a question regarding this huge and tragic loss, Trump said of the death count: "It is what it is."
Twitter has also cracked down on misinformation posted on Trump's election campaign account. The platform said the verified account posted the aforementioned Fox News clip, which was in violation of its policies on coronavirus-related content.
"The Tweet you referenced is in violation of the Twitter Rules on COVID-19 misinformation," a Twitter spokesperson told USA Today. "The account owner will be required to remove the tweet before they can tweet again."
Trump campaign spokesperson Courtney Parella slammed the removal of the clip in a statement to NPR.
"The President was stating a fact that children are less susceptible to the coronavirus," Parella said. "Another day, another display of Silicon Valley's flagrant bias against this President, where the rules are only enforced in one direction. Social media companies are not the arbiters of truth."