When it comes to President Joe Biden, there are numerous instances where he forgot who he was talking to or even where he was. It has become such a common thing that many voters and even politicians have requested he take a cognitive test to make sure he has the mental capacity to be President. But while most of his gaffes are harmless and even comical, Biden set a new standard in “senior moments” when he claimed that 12 people are responsible for spreading COVID-19 misinformation and failed to name those 12 people.
It is no surprise that Biden is upset that America didn’t hit his vaccination percentage by July 4th. Hoping to have nearly 70 percent of Americans vaccinated, reports show that only around 50 percent got the shot, and the number is even lower for those who are fully vaccinated. Not wanting to put the blame on himself, Biden actually attacked Facebook for its part in spreading COVID-19 misinformation, saying the platform is “killing people”. And although he said, “I mean precisely what I said”, Biden is now walking back on his claims, accusing 12 unknown people of being the masterminds behind the misinformation spread.
Using data collected by the nonprofit Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), Biden said, “Facebook isn’t killing people — these 12 people are out there giving misinformation. Anyone listening to it is getting hurt by it. It’s killing people. It’s bad information.” Biden even tried to spin his words against Facebook in a positive light, saying, “My hope is that Facebook, instead of taking it personally, that somehow I’m saying Facebook is killing people, that they would do something about the misinformation, the outrageous misinformation about the vaccine. That’s what I meant.”
While making sure his words didn’t hurt his relationship with big tech, Biden never once listed the names of the people responsible for spreading false information. Luckily, CCDH released a list of twelve names they say are responsible for thousands of deaths. The names are Joseph Mercola, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Ty and Charlene Bollinger, Sherri Tenpenny, Rizza Islam, Rashid Buttar, Erin Elizabeth, Sayer Ji, Kelly Brogan, Christiane Northrup, Ben Tapper, Kevin Jenkins.
The non-profit also released a statement saying these people “are responsible for almost two-thirds of anti-vaccine content circulating on social media platforms. This new analysis of content posted or shared to social media over 812,000 times between February and March uncovers how a tiny group of determined anti-vaxxers is responsible for a tidal wave of disinformation – and shows how platforms can fix it by enforcing their standards.”
But although the organization is okay with name dropping, Biden and the White House refrain from mentioning them. On Thursday, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, “There’s about 12 people who are producing 65% of anti-vaccine misinformation on social media platforms.” As you can see, these 12 people are supposedly a threat to public health but not worth identifying.