The White House ran their regular COVID press briefing earlier today and doubled down on their efforts to combat alleged “misinformation” on social media, and also labeled the small rise in recent COVID cases “a pandemic of the unvaccinated.”
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“Today, Dr. Fauci and I want to provide some perspective on these numbers,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky began. “There is a clear message that is coming through: this is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated. We are seeing outbreaks of cases in parts of the country that have low vaccinated coverage because unvaccinated people are at risk. Communities that are fully vaccinated are generally faring well.”
“The good news is, if you are fully vaccinated, you are protected against severe COVID, hospitalization and death,” Walensky said. “You are even protected against the known variants, including the Delta variant circulating in this country. If you are not vaccinated, you are at risk.”
Also of note during today’s White House COVID briefing, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy doubled down on the pressure they’ve applied to social media giants in regards to what they feel is “misinformation.”
“Technology companies must act as well. Technology companies have enabled misinformation to poison our information environment, with little accountability to their users,” Dr. Murthy warned. “They’ve allowed people who’ve intentionally spread misinformation, what we call disinformation, to have extraordinary reach.”
He went on to explain the specific points they are pressuring big tech companies on. “In this advisory, we are telling technology companies that we expect more,” he said. “We are asking them to operate with greater transparency, to modify their algorithms, to avoid amplifying misinformation, and to swiftly and consistently take action against misinformation super spreaders on their platforms.”
He closed his comments by calling this censoring of content they feel is “misinformation” an “urgent challenge” and a “moral and civic responsibility.”
In a chilling description of how the Biden administration is pressuring Facebook into taking faster action to censor content, CNN reports that there’s “tension” between Facebook and the administration.
Meetings between the Biden administration and Facebook in recent weeks have been “tense,” a source familiar with the conversations told CNN.Psaki said Facebook in particular needs to move faster.”Facebook needs to move more quickly to remove violative posts. Posts that will be within their policies’ removal often remain up for days. That’s too long. The information spreads too quickly,” she said at Thursday’s press briefing. The source said Biden officials who had taken concerns about vaccine misinformation to Facebook had concluded that the company were either not “taking this very seriously, or they are hiding something,” due to what they view as Facebook’s unwillingness to tackle vaccine misinformation.
The doubling down on this “fight” against alleged misinformation has received healthy criticism, largely from conservatives, who are warning against the precedent this sets, when the federal government is working to suppress the flow of speech, even if it’s speech that is unpopular or even factually inaccurate. Many see it as an even bigger problem that the government feels it’s role is to determine which speech is correct and which isn’t, as the consequences could have severe ramifications for free speech.