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Twitter flags ‘misleading and potentially harmful’ Trump tweet on COVID-19 immunity

Twitter logo. (Dreamstime/TNS)

President Donald Trump’s tweet about being immune to COVID-19 was flagged by Twitter for violating its rules on misleading or harmful coronavirus information.

The president tweeted Sunday morning that he got a “total and complete sign off” from his doctors and said that he can’t get the virus or spread it to others.

His tweet remains on the platform with a disclaimer but cannot be shared.

“This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19,” a disclaimer above Trump’s tweet reads. “However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.”

Coronavirus immunity is “not yet understood,” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

Science shows people can test positive for COVID-19 for up to three months after infection without being infectious to others, the CDC says. But that doesn’t mean they are immune to the disease during those three months, per the agency.

The White House released a statement Saturday from presidential physician Dr. Sean Conley saying Trump is “no longer considered a transmission risk to others” and has met criteria for discontinuing isolation.

“Now at day 10 from symptom onset, fever free for well over 24 hours and all symptoms improved, the assortment of advanced diagnostic tests obtained reveal there is no longer evidence of actively replicating virus,” the statement says.

This comes as the president has reportedly been eager to get back on the campaign trail as the Nov. 3 election nears. Several hundred supporters gathered on the South Lawn of the White House on Saturday as the president spoke from a balcony, The New York Times reports.

It was his first public event since news broke of his COVID-19 diagnosis.

The president was admitted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Oct. 2 after testing positive for the coronavirus. He’s since been released, after receiving a cocktail of therapeutics, and is now back at the White House.

The days following his positive test were marked by confusing and conflicting information on his health from those close to him.

Conley said in a news briefing the day after Trump was admitted to the hospital that he was “doing very well,” a sentiment repeated by the president himself.

But White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said shortly after that Trump was “still not on a clear path to a full recovery” and that his vitals “over the last 24 hours were very concerning and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care.”

Additionally, Conley did not disclose that the president had received supplemental oxygen until Oct. 4, despite being asked about it the day before.

Trump’s condition has remained largely under wraps, with his doctors still refusing to answer many questions about his health — including the date of his last negative test, which could provide insights into when he was contagious and who else may have been exposed.

“At this point it’s just so strange that they’re unwilling to give us the information,” Dr. Michael Joseph Mina, a physician and professor of epidemiology at Harvard’s school of public health, told The Associated Press. “It makes people start thinking things like, ‘Was the president the super-spreader?’… If there was no nefarious activity going on, then they should have no problem answering this question.”

Trump also plans to hold an event in Florida on Monday evening, according to his campaign’s website.


© 2020 The News & Observer