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President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence look on during the daily briefing on the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, in the Brady Briefing Room at the White House on April 2, 2020, in Washington, DC.
Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images
A former aide to Vice President Mike Pence slammed the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and said she will vote for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden as a result of her experience in the White House.
Olivia Troye, who was Pence’s leading aide on the White House’s coronavirus task force, cut an ad for the group Republican Voters Against Trump in which she claimed the president cares about no one but himself.
“Towards the middle of February, we knew it wasn’t a matter of if Covid would become a big pandemic here in the United States, it was a matter of when,” Troye says in the ad. “But the president didn’t want to hear that because his biggest concern was that we were in an election year and how is this going to affect what he considers to be his record of success?”
In a statement, White House spokesperson Judd Deere characterized Troye as a “disgruntled” former employee.
“Outside of generally watching the White House Coronavirus Taskforce from the overflow staff room, this disgruntled former detailee was never in private meetings with the President and her assertions have no basis in reality and are flat out inaccurate,” Deere said in the statement. “The truth is President Trump always put the well-being of the American people first as evidenced by his shutdown of the country, which saved millions of lives, activating the greatest mobilization of the private sector since World War II to deliver critical supplies, the development of a never-before-seen testing system that is the envy of the world, and an unending focus on the rapid research and approval of scientifically proven therapeutics and an eventual vaccine.”
Troye claimed in the video that Trump once said in a meeting that the virus might be “a good thing” because he would no longer need to shake hands with “these disgusting people.” The White House did not immediately respond to an inquiry about this claim.
“Those disgusting people are the same people that he claims to care about,” she said in the video.
This story is developing. Check back for updates.
Mark Zuckerberg, Chairman of Facebook, speaks on the second day of the 56th Munich Security Conference. The fight against propaganda campaigns and other attempts at manipulation costs Facebook billions every year.
Tobias Hase | picture alliance | Getty Images
Facebook on Thursday announced new policies that will limit the spread of private groups on its social network that focus on giving users health advice, as well as groups with ties to violence.
The company will no longer show health groups in its recommendations, saying that “it’s crucial that people get their health information from authoritative sources,” in a blog post. In the past, closed groups have been used by Facebook users to spread misinformation about vaccines and Covid-19.
Similarly, the company said it will limit the spread of groups tied to violence by removing them from recommendations, restricting them from search and reducing how often their content shows up on people’s News Feeds. This move comes as Facebook has struggled to moderate private groups, including a militia group in Kenosha, Wisconsin, that used Facebook to organize an event where two people were killed in real life.
Facebook said it removed the pages tied to that event after it happened, blaming an “operational error” for allowing the event to stay up despite the fact it violated the company’s policies. But BuzzFeed later discovered that Facebook did not remove the pages; one of the group’s admins did. It was only then that Facebook admitted it never took the event down.
Additionally, Facebook will now archive groups that do not have admins, which are key to moderating groups. If an admin steps down from their role, they can invite other groups members to replace them. Facebook will also suggest this role to active members, but if no one steps up, the company will archive those groups. If Facebook removes a group for policy reasons, administrators and moderators of that group will be unable to create any new groups for a period of time.