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Allies of President Joe Biden are pressuring phone companies to censor text messages that might carry disinformation about the administration’s response to the pandemic.
The Biden administration is taking more aggressive actions against what they consider to be disinformation from critics on their right, according to the Politico report.
Left-wing groups, including the Democratic National Committee, are planning to also engage fact-checkers to fight back against dissenting voices.
The administration faced angry blowback after Biden said on Tuesday that the government would go “door-to-door” to encourage Americans to get vaccinated. He admitted that he was unable to fulfill his goal of vaccinating 70% of Americans by the Fourth of July.
In response, many on the right accused Biden of tyrannical government overreach but Dr. Anthony Fauci replied Sunday by accusing them of misinterpreting Biden’s program.
“The big misinterpretation that Fox News or whomever else is saying is that they are essentially envisioning a bunch of federal workers knocking on your door, telling you you’ve got to do something that you don’t want to do,” said Fauci, the president’s chief medical adviser.
“That’s absolutely not the case, it’s trusted messengers who are part of the community doing that — not government officials,” he added. “So that’s where I think the disconnect is.”
White House spokesman Kevin Munoz said that the administration would be more vocal about calling out its critics.
“We are steadfastly committed to keeping politics out of the effort to get every American vaccinated so that we can save lives and help our economy further recover,” Munoz said. “When we see deliberate efforts to spread misinformation, we view that as an impediment to the country’s public health and will not shy away from calling that out.”
The suggestion that Democrats would seek censorship on text messages also received immediate blowback on social media.
“Please tell me this is a typo,” replied Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.).
“Yikes and Dear God….,” responded former Trump ambassador Richard Grenell.
“The great war on information continues. Your mind is the prize,” said another critic.
Natasha Korecki, one of the writers of the Politico report, responded to one critic by pointing out that it was private groups working with the companies, not the White House itself.
“Even then, there is no ability for groups to read individual texts aside from the ones they receive themselves,” she added.