Twitter on Sunday took down US President Donald Trump’s retweeted post that spread false information. The retweeted post claimed that the coronavirus death count is declining in the US.
The tweet was originally posted by “Mel Q” a follower of the baseless conspiracy theory QAnon which posits that the president is battling a cabal of Satan-worshiping child sex traffickers. It was copied from a Facebook post and claimed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had “quietly updated the COVID number to admit that only 6%” of reported deaths – or about 9,000 – “actually died from COVID,” as reported by NDTV.
At least 180,000 people have died of the coronavirus in the United States, according to Washington Post tracking. Most experts, including the nation’s top infectious disease expert, believe deaths are being undercounted rather than overcounted.
Conspiracies and misinformation have been a persistent problem amid the coronavirus pandemic, causing alarm among public health experts. Safdar noted that once a false claim “gets out there, it goes on like wildfire.”