The war of words between President Biden and Facebook is escalating — as the social-media behemoth claimed the platform has become a “scapegoat” for the Biden administration’s pandemic failures.
“The White House is looking for scapegoats for missing their vaccine goals,” an anonymous executive told NBC News reporter Dylan Byers Friday.
The angry riposte came shortly after Biden accused Facebook of insufficiently censoring anti-vaccine posts.
“They’re killing people,” Biden told reporters Friday afternoon, when asked about his message for the company. “The only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated. And they’re killing people.”
Biden’s charge came as White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the Biden administration is “in regular touch” with Facebook regarding efforts to promote its preferred “narratives” on COVID-19.
The explanation expanded on Psaki’s Thursday admission that the White House is “flagging problematic posts” for Facebook to censor, which sparked an uproar among First Amendment defenders.
Facebook on Friday issued a measured official statement on Biden’s harsh rebuke, saying that they “aren’t supported by the facts.”
But behind the scenes, execs at the administration’s longtime ally seemed to be seething.
“In private exchanges the Surgeon General has praised our work, including our efforts to inform people about COVID-19,” the unnamed insider told Byers. “They knew what they were doing.”