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Facebook says it’s ‘not the reason’ U.S. is failing to meet COVID-19 vaccine goals

Click to play video: 'Biden says social media sites like Facebook ‘are killing people’ by spreading COVID-19 disinformation' Biden says social media sites like Facebook ‘are killing people’ by spreading COVID-19 disinformation
WATCH ABOVE: Biden says social media sites like Facebook ‘are killing people’ by spreading COVID-19 disinformation – Jul 16, 2021

Facebook on Saturday defended itself against U.S. President Joe Biden‘s assertion that the social media platform is “killing people” by allowing misinformation about coronavirus vaccines to proliferate, saying the facts tell a different story.

“The data shows that 85% of Facebook users in the US have been or want to be vaccinated against COVID-19,” Facebook said in a corporate blog post by Guy Rosen, a company vice president. “President Biden’s goal was for 70% of Americans to be vaccinated by July 4. Facebook is not the reason this goal was missed.”

Read more: Growing vaccine hostility in U.S. will be extremely difficult to fix, experts warn

COVID-19 misinformation has spread during the pandemic on social media sites including Facebook, Twitter and Alphabet Inc-owned YouTube. Researchers and lawmakers have long accused Facebook of failing to police harmful content on its platforms.

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“They’re killing people. … Look, the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated. And they’re killing people,” Biden told reporters at the White House on Friday when asked about misinformation and what his message was to social media platforms such as Facebook.

Click to play video: 'Facebook extends Trump’s ban to 2023, adds new rules for politicians' Facebook extends Trump’s ban to 2023, adds new rules for politicians
Facebook extends Trump’s ban to 2023, adds new rules for politicians – Jun 4, 2021

The company has introduced rules against making specific false claims about COVID-19 and vaccines for it, and says it provides people with reliable information on these topics.

The Delta variant of the coronavirus is now the dominant strain worldwide, accompanied by a surge of deaths around the United States almost entirely among unvaccinated people, U.S. officials said on Friday.

American cases of COVID-19 over the previous week and deaths are up 26%, with outbreaks occurring in parts of the country with low vaccination rates.

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