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Twitter bans Trump campaign from tweeting until it removes ‘misinformation’ on coronavirus

President Donald Trump delivers remarks during a news conference in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, April 14, 2020. Trump announced that he has instructed his administration to halt funding to the World Health Organization. (Stefani Reynolds/Pool/Sipa USA/TNS)
August 05, 2020

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates as more information becomes available.

Twitter locked an official campaign account for President Donald Trump on Wednesday for sharing a video they say contained “misinformation” about the coronavirus.

The Washington Post reported Twitter stopped the Trump account from tweeting until it deleted a video of a Trump interview with Fox News in which Trump encouraged schools to reopen despite the coronavirus pandemic, claiming children are “almost immune” from the virus.

Twitter spokeswoman Liz Kelley told the Post that the tweet “is in violation of the Twitter Rules on COVID-19 misinformation. The account owner will be required to remove the Tweet before they can Tweet again.”

The account in question TeamTrump has posted several tweets in the time since the Post first published its story, suggesting the account complied with the Twitter intervention.

CNN reporter Donie O’Sullivan tweeted, “Trump’s account is NOT suspended nor has his ability to tweet been taken away. Trump’s campaign account @TeamTrump posted a video with Covid-19 misinformation. Twitter made it delete the tweet before it could tweet again. Trump did tweet the video @TeamTrump posted but as you can see that’s now a dead link. Punitive action only against the Trump campaign account, not Trump’s main account, Twitter says.”

The Trump tweet O’Sullivan linked contained a suspended link and when clicked on a notice appears sating “This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules.”

According to the Post, Facebook similarly intervened against Trump’s Facebook account, which also shared the interview video.

“If you look at children, children are almost — and I would almost say definitely — but almost immune from this disease,” Trump said during his interview with Fox & Friends earlier on Wednesday.

Facebook and Twitter claim the phrase “almost immune” is inaccurate.

While those aged 85 or older account for the U.S. group with largest number of coronavirus deaths, deaths among those under 18 still do occur they claim.

According to preliminary CDC data as of Wednesday, 15 children under the age of 1-years-old have died with COVID-19, 10 between the ages of 1 and 4 have died with COVID-19 and 10 between the ages of 5 and 14 have died with COVID-19. There have been 225 COVID-19 deaths between the ages of 15 and 24, though it is unclear what number of those deaths are for those over the age of 18.

At the same time, deaths for pnuemonia and deaths influenza were both higher than COVID-19 deaths for all age groups between newborns and those up to 14-years-old. Pnuemonia is still deadlier than COVID-19 in the 15-24 group, but influenza is less deadly.

“[Children] get it and can transmit it, but they get it less and transmit it less than adults,” Dr. Theodore Ruel, chief of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases and Global Health at University of California San Francisco told the Post.

Ruel said the word “immune” is incorrect but did acknowledge children are at less of a coronavirus risk than adults.