Twitter Fails to Fact Check Joe Biden Tweet Claiming Trump Cost 36,000 Lives

Joe Biden
Paul Vernon/AP Photo

Twitter has opted not to add a “fact check” label to Joe Biden’s tweet claiming that President Donald Trump cost America 36,000 additional lives lost to the Chinese virus by implementing social distancing guidelines on March 15 instead of March 8.

Biden’s tweet on May 23 accused Trump of costing 36,000 Americans their lives:

Despite Biden’s claims, the United States remains at the very bottom of the current coronavirus task force prediction of 100,000 to 240,000 deaths.

Biden went further than this tweet’s claim in an interview with the Breakfast Club for which he was vigorously fact-checked.

The Annenberg Public Policy Center, which runs the website FactCheck.org, on Thursday published an in-depth review of Biden’s 18-minute exchange with Charlamagne tha God on the popular New York City-based radio program. The center found the presumptive Democrat nominee made a “number of false, misleading or exaggerated claims” during his May 22 appearance on the show.

Most notably, the Annenberg Center found Biden had “falsely suggested that he called for implementing nationwide social distancing restrictions” as early as March to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. The group pointed to the fact Biden was still holding large campaign rallies, with at least one thousand people, as of March 9th.

Similarly, the center found Biden inaccurately claimed during the Breakfast Club interview he was endorsed by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The group, which prides itself on being non-partisan, recently released a statement pushing back on the former vice president’s claim, noting it does not endorse candidates for political office.

Even though Biden’s interview with the program was rife with such inaccuracies, Twitter has opted not to put a label warning individuals the content may be misleading.

On May 26th, Twitter added a “fact check” label to a pair of tweets from President Trump expressing concerns that mail-in ballots may increase the risk of voter fraud. The “fact check” link, which urged users to “get the facts about mail-in ballots,” directed users to a Twitter “moment” — a collection of links and tweets, handpicked by the company’s employees. 

The “moment,” intended to fact-check the president, was filled with articles from outlets, such as CNN and the Washington Post, asserting Trump was lying about vote-by-mail. This is reportedly the first time the social media platform has branded Trump’s tweets with a link to a “fact check.” 

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