COVID Misinformation Is Killing People

Scientific American writes about what can be done to counter the problem of COVID-19 misinformation.

In the United States, misinformation spread by elements of the media, by public leaders and by individuals with large social media platforms has contributed to a disproportionately large share of COVID-19 burden: we house 4 percent of the global population but account for 22 percent of global COVID-19 deaths.

It is important for the government, businesses, organizations and individuals to support an aggressive effort to counter the misinformation at all levels and to support public health polices.

Match public health promises with the capabilities of a government that can deliver. Lessons from past public health mass media campaigns indicate that any advice from public health officials must be matched with the ability to deliver services to those audiences. For example, guidance for testing must be accompanied by readily accessible COVID-19 tests. Guidance for wearing masks must be met with ample availability of masks. And any education campaign on the efficacy of vaccines or therapeutics must be met with a sufficient availability and affordability of those measures.