For Immediate Release
December 3, 2020
Accountable Tech cofounder Jesse Lehrich released the following statement in response to reports that Jeff Zients will be tapped to lead the Biden Administration’s COVID-19 strategy:
“While Jeff Zients is rightfully renowned as a talented problem-solver, his recent service on Facebook’s Board of Directors raises serious concerns about how he’ll navigate his role as the incoming administration’s COVID-19 czar. During Mr. Zients’s time on the Board, Facebook played an unparalleled role in turbocharging the growth of the anti-vaxx movement and the spread of coronavirus conspiracy theories, consistently prioritizing engagement and profits to the detriment of public health.
Facebook must be held accountable for amplifying misinformation that has undermined our pandemic response and sown baseless distrust in vaccines. In order to guard against conflicts of interest, Mr. Zients should immediately divest of the significant equity he earned in Facebook from his service on the Board and commit to hiring an online misinformation expert to handle his team’s engagement with major social media platforms.”