The president has come out swinging at big tech companies he says aren't doing enough to combat vaccine misinformation on social media platforms. “They’re killing people. The only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated," Biden told reporters at the White House on Friday, per The Hill, before repeating "They're killing people." Per ABC News, the pointed answer was in response to the question: "On COVID misinformation, what's your message to platforms like Facebook?" The statement came a day after Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy told reporters at the White House such misinformation is an "imminent threat" to Americans. White House press secretary Jen Psaki doubled down on Biden's remarks Friday, saying “We want to know that the social media platforms are taking steps to address" false information.
Clearly feeling targeted, Facebook was quick to respond. "We will not be distracted by accusations which aren't supported by the facts," a spokesperson said in a statement. "The fact is that more than 2 billion people have viewed authoritative information about COVID-19 and vaccines on Facebook." Earlier this year, the company announced plans to combat posts seeding fears about coronavirus vaccines from its platforms. The White House's continued efforts to fight vaccine hesitancy come as the CDC warns we are heading into a "pandemic of the unvaccinated" and outbreaks of the highly transmissible delta variant burn through areas with low rates including Arkansas, Missouri, Florida, and Nevada. (Read more Joe Biden stories.)