Republican Florida Rep. Byron Donalds said Monday that the Biden administration has overstepped its authority in pressuring social media companies to censor COVID-19 vaccine posts and is taking America on “the road to serfdom.”
“This is actually the road to serfdom. When you allow a government entity like the White House … to begin to take on more and more power and step outside of what they are authorized to do, then they have these bright ideas that they’re the ones that get to shape reality for everybody else,” Donalds told “Fox & Friends.”
“This is a real problem for them because they could have just stopped and say we recommend people to get vaccinated, please look at the vaccine,” the congressman continued, noting that the Biden administration simply needed to inform people that the vaccine was available in sufficient quantities. (RELATED: ‘Lunatic Conspiracy Theories’: Here’s How Liberal Fact Checkers Treated People Who Supported Lab Leak)
“But they’ve gone way past that. They’re now putting pressure on social media companies to censor speech in our country. That is not the job of the president of the United States.”
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday that the White House is not only working with Facebook to flag disinformation on vaccines — it’s also asking Facebook to share data on the reach and engagement of posts deemed disinformation.
“We’re flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation,” she said.
Facebook actively suppressed any posts that claimed the COVID-19 virus had its origins at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
The Democratic National Committee has called on phone companies to monitor text messages that carry any “misinformation” about the COVID-19 vaccine. (RELATED: White House Announces ‘Surge Response’ Teams To Combat COVID-19 Delta Variant)
But Donalds said these actions are government overreach. “News flash: stop being a pest, stop pressuring everybody. Stop throwing it in people’s faces,” he said, suggesting that this kind of activity merely promotes “revolt” because people don’t like to be told what to do by the government.
“Step back and let adults manage their own lives. This is a free country. People are going to do what they want to do.”
Donald noted that he contracted the coronavirus and has made the decision not to receive the vaccine. “It has nothing to do with what Joe Biden wants: that is my own decision as a free-thinking human being … Leave us alone,” he said.