TikTok isn’t bigger than a pandemic

TikTok may be going away and users aren’t happy. Photo courtesy Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images & Clancy Morgan/Business

Trump has done so many things wrong during his time as president that I think we’ve lost count. The latest concerns him spending more time and effort into banning Chinese app TikTok than helping the country through the pandemic.

In early August, Larry Madowo, a Kenyan journalist and US Correspondent for BBC, tweeted “Coronavirus has killed more than 150,000 people in the US. Therefore, President Trump is banning TikTok.”

Here we are eight weeks later with 200,000 deaths, and he is still trying to shut down TikTok and WeChat. All while we are still in the middle of a pandemic that doesn’t appear to be slowing down, Trump’s biggest concern is an app. 

TikTok’s ban in particular has garnered the most controversy, as well as what seems to be confusion. The ban is supposed to prevent users in the U.S. from being able to download the app if they don’t already have it. For current users, the issue has come up that they won’t be able to update the app and fix any bugs or issues, causing less than optimal app usage. 

Supposedly if the issues aren’t resolved or TikTok is not bought by a new company by Nov. 12, then the app will be unavailable entirely in the U.S. 

According to The Independent, the threat to ban the app comes from the belief that because TikTok and WeChat have Chinese owners, this could result in American data being compromised.

While people’s personal data being up for grabs is a risk, a bigger risk was already taken earlier in the year when Trump decided to gamble on the lives of U.S. citizens against the coronavirus. 

This month, it was announced by journalist Bob Woodard that “Trump knew in early 2020 how deadly the coronavirus could be in the United States, but he intentionally misled the American public about the severity of the disease to avoid panicking people.”

Instead of letting people know how serious this virus is for fear of panic, Trump just decided to let 200,000 people die.

Charity Graham, a student whose content has gone viral on TikTok, feels confused about the possibility of the app being banned.

“Honestly, it hasn’t fully hit me yet, but I feel like it’s very unnecessary,” Graham said. “TikTok wasn’t hurting anybody for real, I don’t really see the point in banning it.”

Graham thinks that TikTok should be a lot further down on Trump’s priorities because we’re in the middle of a pandemic. Like most people, she uses TikTok mostly for laughs and makes her own content just for fun.

According to the New York Times, a federal judge has blocked the Trump administration from banning WeChat this week. The issue of violating First Amendment rights, as well as prohibiting a popular means of communication in China, were cited as reasons for halting the proposed ban.

Although the issue with TikTok and WeChat is ever-changing and users may not understand what is happening from day-to-day, the point must still be made that worrying about apps should be the least of Trump’s concerns amidst a pandemic.