Twitter flags misleading Trump tweet claiming he is 'immune' from virus and cannot infect others

Science is unclear on how long people who have recovered from Covid-19 are protected from a second infection

Griffin Connolly
Sunday 11 October 2020 21:10
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Trump claims he has 'protective glow' and is 'immune' from Covid

Twitter has flagged yet another tweet by Donald Trump for violating its terms of service regarding false or misleading information about Covid-19, this time for the president’s message on Sunday proclaiming he is “immune” from the coronavirus.

Scientific evidence is unclear on how long people who have recovered from Covid-19 have antibodies and are protected from a second infection.

Nevertheless, the president, who is eager to get back on the campaign trail following a 10-day hiatus to receive treatment and recover from Covid-19, made the claim multiple times on Sunday.

“A total and complete sign off from White House Doctors yesterday. That means I can't get it (immune), and can't give it. Very nice to know,” Mr Trump wrote in his tweet on Sunday.

A Twitter spokeswoman told Reuters that the tweet made "misleading health claims" about COVID-19 and that engagements with the post would be "significantly limited," as is standard in such cases.

The post is now tagged with the following disclaimer: “This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19.”

The president’s tweet was perhaps prompted by the fact that he and his aides have fielded numerous questions from reporters in recent days about what precautions they’re taking to ensure he doesn’t infect anyone else at his rallies this week.

The president is slated to make his first public appearance on the campaign trail since his Covid-19 diagnosis at a rally in Florida on Monday.

White House doctors have assured him he is not contagious, he said in an interview with Fox News on Sunday.

“The doctors, the White House doctors, as you know, are the best, and they said [I’m] totally free of spreading. There’s no spread,” Mr Trump said.

“I have to tell you, I feel fantastically. I really feel good. And I even feel good by the fact that, you know, the word immunity means something — having  really a protective glow means something. I think it's very important to have that, to have that is a very important thing,” the president said in an interview with Fox News on Sunday.

The White House first announced Mr Trump’s Covid-19 diagnosis on Thursday, 1 October.

Mr Trump has been eager to get back on the campaign trail after missing more than 10 days with his illness.

Several public polls last week showed him losing the national popular vote by more than 10 percentage points and trailing in key swing states such as Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona, and Florida.

Mr Trump plans to hold evening rallies in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday and in Des Moines, Iowa, on Wednesday.

Election Day is 3 November, just over three weeks away.

Wires contributed to this report.

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