Investing.com – Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) stock was trading 0.4% lower in Monday’s premarket trading after U.S. President Joe Biden accused it of “killing people” by allowing the spread of misinformation about Covid-19 vaccines on its social network.
“The only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated. And they’re killing people,” he said when asked about companies like Facebook.
Biden’s comments express an increasing frustration with social media companies, which his administration blames for slowing the pace of vaccination in many states, allowing the Covid-19 a fresh foothold in the country. Vaccination has almost ground to a halt in Republican heartlands of the South and Midwest, where the population remains broadly skeptical of most Democratic Party policy.
Already on Thursday, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy accused the social media companies of not doing enough to curb misinformation around vaccines. He and other administration officials are concerned that the networks provide platforms to anti-vaxxers to spread falsehoods about vaccines when scientific evidence points overwhelmingly to their effectiveness in curbing the spread of the virus and saving lives.
The social media giant was quick to reply, however.
“The Biden administration has chosen to blame a handful of American social media companies,” Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice president of integrity, said in a blog post Saturday. “The fact is that vaccine acceptance among Facebook users in the U.S. has increased.”
Rosen called on the administration to stop “finger-pointing”.
President Biden had set a goal of getting 70% of Americans vaccinated by July 4, a target the Federal government fell short of.
“Facebook is not the reason this goal was missed,” the Facebook executive wrote.