Wednesday, August 5, 2020

What did Donald Trump do today?

He got his campaign in trouble for repeating lies he'd told about children and COVID-19.

Twitter briefly restricted Trump's campaign's account today until it deleted a tweet that violated its policy against spreading disinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic. The tweet included a clip of Trump telling a Fox News host that children were "almost immune" to COVID-19. Facebook deleted a similar post.

In reality, children have no immunity to the virus. They are less likely to die, but they are not immune, and they are no less likely to pass the virus to others than adults.

It's not clear if Trump knew was deliberately lying by saying that, or was confused again. He routinely gets basic facts wrong about the virus.

Trump has demanded that schools reopen at full capacity no matter what, even though this is extremely unpopular with voters. He's threatened to cut federal funds to public schools if they don't reopen face-to-face, although he has very little legal authority to do this, and public schools are almost entirely locally funded. (Trump's youngest son Barron attends a private school that will start the year with online classes only.)

More than 161,000 Americans of all ages have died of COVID-19.

Why does this matter?

  • The heath and safety of American children, their teachers, and their families is more important than Trump's political campaign.
  • Spreading misinformation about fatal diseases gets people killed.