Rush Limbaugh defended President Trump Thursday for falsely asserting that children are “virtually immune” to COVID-19, the contagious disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
The host of the “Rush Limbaugh Show” also slammed Facebook and Twitter during his syndicated radio program for taking action against a video showing Mr. Trump making that claim.
“The Trump campaign is exactly right when they said that kids are almost immune. And yet Facebook and Twitter pull it down as unsuitable,” Mr. Limbaugh complained on his show.
Mr. Limbaugh, a staunch Trump supporter, came to the president’s defense in light of critics taking issue with comments he made about COVID-19 during an interview a day earlier.
“If you look at children, children are almost — I would almost say definitely — but almost immune from this disease,” Mr. Trump said Wednesday on Fox News. “The fact is that they are virtually immune from this problem.”
Although children make up a very small proportion of the people who have tested positive for COVID-19, some have become seriously ill and died from the respiratory disease and are capable of transmitting it to others.
Facebook and Twitter accordingly took action against the video for violating their misinformation policies, resulting in Mr. Limbaugh calling their decisions into question.
“Except it’s not misinformation. There’s news all over the drive-by media that simply backs up what Trump said,” Mr. Limbaugh responded Thursday.
Children represented 8.8% of all known nationwide COVID-19 cases as of July 30 in states reporting cases by age, although fewer than 1% of all coronavirus-related deaths, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association. Worldwide, the disease has infected more than 18.9 million people, including more than 4.8 million Americans, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Mr. Limbaugh, 69, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom — the nation’s highest civilian honor — by Mr. Trump in February.
He has made several controversial and occasionally outright false claims about the coronavirus during the following months, including calling it the “common cold” and claiming members of the media are inflating the pandemic’s death toll in order to “hurt” the president.
Media Matters for America first reported Mr. Limbaugh’s latest comments.