Former President Barack Obama claimed in a speech Thursday “people are dying because of misinformation” due to some Americans’ refusal to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Around one in five Americans is [sic] still willing to put themselves at risk and put their families at risk rather than get vaccinated” and are dying because of “disinformation,” Obama said at Stanford University.
After describing himself as “pretty close to a First Amendment absolutist,” Obama then called on social media companies to implement more online censorship, especially in regard to potent political issues like COVID-19, the 2020 election and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Obama also called out some individuals he perceives as villains on disinformation. (RELATED: How Two Questions From College Kids Derailed A Big Liberal Disinformation Conference)
“People like Putin, and Steve Bannon for that matter, understand it’s not necessary for people to believe this information in order to weaken democratic institutions. You just have to flood a country’s public square with enough raw sewage. You just have to raise enough questions, spread enough dirt, plant enough conspiracy theorizing, that citizens no longer know what to believe,” the former president said, according to Yahoo! News.
“We have a choice right now: Do we allow our democracy to wither? Or do we make it better?” he added, according to Breitbart.
Obama recently participated in a conference on “disinformation” hosted by The Atlantic at the University of Chicago where students asked questions about the media’s refusal to cover the Hunter Biden laptop story before the 2020 election.