A post by Donald Trump has been deleted by facebook. The post which said children are “almost immune” from the coronavirus – for breaking its misinformation rules on the subject.
Twitter also temporarily froze his official campaign account @TeamTrump until the same clip was removed.
The offending posts contained a Fox News video in which Mr Trump made the claim during a phone interview on Wednesday.
Facebook said it included “false claims that a group of people is immune from COVID-19 which is a violation of our policies around harmful COVID misinformation”.
“My view is that schools should be open,” Trump said during his appearance on Fox and Friends.
“If you look at children, children are almost – and I would almost say definitely – but almost immune from this disease.”
He added that they “just don’t have a problem” and have “much stronger immune systems”.
Trump campaign spokeswoman Courtney Parella attacked the social media companies and said the president was speaking the truth.
“The president was stating a fact that children are less susceptible to the coronavirus,” said a statement.
“Another day, another display of Silicon Valley’s flagrant bias against this president, where the rules are only enforced in one direction. Social media companies are not the arbiters of truth.”
While children are believed to be less likely to become infected than adults and suffer milder symptoms, “virtually immune” is misleading.
The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention published a study in April, involving 2,500 children, which found about one in five needed hospital treatment compared with one in three adults.
A global review of dozens of studies also said children’s role in transmission was unclear but that “it seems likely they do not play a significant role”.
“COVID-19 appears to affect children less often, and with less severity, including frequent asymptomatic or subclinical infection,” concluded the study – done in partnership with the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.
Twitter previously decided a tweet in March by Tesla boss Elon Musk – in which he said “kids are essentially immune” from the virus – did not break its rules and left it up.
Mr Trump later repeated his opinion at a White House briefing on Wednesday – but in slightly less robust terms.
“Children handle it very well,” he told reporters.
“If you look at the numbers, in terms of mortality, fatalities… for children under a certain age… their immune systems are very, very strong and very powerful.
“They seem to be able to handle it very well and that’s according to every statistical claim.”
Facebook said it had removed a post by Donald Trump before, but that it was the first time it had done so due to coronavirus misinformation specifically.
In March, the company removed adverts from his election campaign for breaking misinformation rules over a national census.
It also took down campaign ads in June that featured a red inverted triangle, a Nazi symbol to identify political prisoners, for violating its hate policy.