White House, Twitter silent on why tweet with vaccine misinformation hasn’t been taken down
The White House is facing backlash after it falsely claimed in a tweet this week that “there was no vaccine available” for COVID-19 when Joe Biden took office last year, but Twitter, along with the White House, remain silent on why the that claim remains on the platform with no “misinformation” warning label.
On Thursday, the official White House Twitter account stated, “When President Biden took office, millions were unemployed and there was no vaccine available.”After the original tweet drew fierce criticism from Twitter users who pointed out that there was a COVID-19 vaccine available when Biden took office on Jan. 20, 2021, the White House acknowledged in a follow-up tweet Friday that it “misstated that vaccines were unavailable in January 2021,” but did not delete the original tweet that was shared nearly 3,000 times.
“We previously misstated that vaccines were unavailable in January 2021. We should have said that they were not widely available. Vaccines became available shortly before the President came into office. Since then, he’s responsible for fully vaccinating over 200 million people,” the Friday tweet stated.
Fox News reached out to the White House and Twitter over the weekend to ask why the tweet had not been deleted and why no warning label had been stamped to the tweet informing readers of the inaccurate information contained in the tweet. Fox News did not immediately receive a response from the White House or Twitter.
Both President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris received COVID-19 vaccinations before taking office, shortly after the first person in the nation, Sandra Lindsay, was vaccinated on December 14, 2020. Biden received his first dose of the vaccine on December 21, 2020, while Harris received hers on December 29, 2020.
Twitter users from across the political spectrum criticized the White House for the post.
“Who’s manning the @WhiteHouse Twitter account?” chief Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler asked, urging whoever it is to “Delete this false tweet.”
He added, “Biden himself has said 8% of seniors had gotten the vaccine on the day he took office. Biden was one of them,” linking to a fact-check piece he had written last year.
Fox News contributor Joe Concha asked his fellow Twitter users, “Anybody got the customer service line for the new disinformation board?”
Author Max Abrahms quipped about getting the appointed government “Disinformation Governance Board” head on the case, tweeting, “Call Nina Jankowicz.”
Fox News’ Adam Sabes and Gabriel Hays contributed to this article.