President Joe Biden called on social media companies and media outlets to police users and content providers that are spreading “misinformation and disinformation.”
On Thursday, Biden announced that the federal government is sending roughly 120 military medical personnel to six states “hard-hit” by COVID-19.
“Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island,” Biden said, forgetting to mention the sixth state: New Mexico.
Biden then segued from talking about the military to lamenting about the unvaccinated.
“Unfortunately, while our military is stepping up, as they always do, there are others sitting on the sidelines and, worse, standing in the way,” Biden said during a virtual meeting at the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.
“If you haven’t gotten vaccinated, do it,” Biden continued. “Personal choice impacts us all — our hospitals, our country.”
Earlier in the speech, Biden once again said the COVID-19 pandemic is a “pandemic of the unvaccinated,” continuing to say “the Omicron variant is causing millions of cases and record hospitalizations” and “the unvaccinated are dying from COVID-19.”
The U.S. set a pandemic record in COVID-19 cases on Monday with 1,465,525 new cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. also set a record for hospitalizations as 142,388 people with COVID-19 were hospitalized nationwide as of Sunday, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Over 63% of Americans are fully vaccinated.
Biden then called for the censorship of COVID-19 information that the administration deems as “misinformation.”
“I make a special appeal to social media companies and media outlets: Please deal with the misinformation and disinformation that’s on your shows,” President Biden said. “It has to stop.”
“COVID-19 is one of the most formidable enemies America has ever faced. We’ve got to work together, not against each other,” he added. “We’re America. We can do this.”
President Biden did not specifically name any social media platform or media outlets.
In July, President Biden was asked about misinformation spreading on “platforms like Facebook.” Biden replied, “They’re killing people. The only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated, and they’re killing people.”
One media personality has been in the spotlight recently for pushing back against the government’s COVID-19 guidance – Joe Rogan.
On Wednesday, a coalition of 270 scientists, medical professionals, professors, and science communicators signed an open letter demanding that Spotify adopt a policy on COVID-19 misinformation because Rogan has a “concerning history of broadcasting misinformation, particularly regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“We are calling on Spotify to take action against the mass-misinformation events which continue to occur on its platform,” the letter reads. “With an estimated 11 million listeners per episode, JRE is the world’s largest podcast and has tremendous influence. Though Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, the company presently has no misinformation policy.”
“By allowing the propagation of false and societally harmful assertions, Spotify is enabling its hosted media to damage public trust in scientific research and sow doubt in the credibility of data-driven guidance offered by medical professionals,” the group claims.
The letter cites several alleged issues with Rogan, including that he “promoted off-label use of ivermectin to treat COVID-19” and had Dr. Robert Malone appear on “The Joe Rogan Experience.”