Surgeon General warns of COVID-19 misinformation
Today US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD, spoke at the White House about his newly issued surgeon general’s advisory—the first of the Biden administration—about misinformation concerning COVID-19.
“During the pandemic, misinformation has led people not to wear masks in high-risk settings, turn down proven treatments, or get vaccinated,” Murthy said. “This led to avoidable illnesses and death.”
While health misinformation is not new, Murthy said the speed and scale with which misinformation is spreading, especially on social media, is alarming and a risk to American lives.
“If you’re not sure, don’t share,” Murthy said, referring to Facebook and Instagram posts not verified by medical experts. “We expect more from our technology companies; we are asking them to operate with greater transparency and accountability. We’re asking them to monitor misinformation more closely.”
Murthy’s advisory comes as a third of US adults are still not vaccinated against the virus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID Data Tracker shows 388,295,385 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been delivered and 335,487,779 have been administered in the country, with 160,126,516 Americans fully vaccinated (67.8% of adults have received at least one dose).