Misinformation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic poses an “imminent and insidious threat to our nation’s health,” according to US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, who also decried the spread of “common falsehoods” by people who refuse to be vaccinated. Murthy, who has lost ten family members to the coronavirus, believes that online misinformation, particularly that encouraging vaccine hesitancy, is endangering the epidemic at a time when the Delta strain is spreading across the United States.
Murthy said, “Millions of Americans are still not protected against COVID-19, and we are seeing more infections among those who are unvaccinated. What we know from polls is that two-thirds of people who are not vaccinated either believe common myths about the coronavirus vaccine or think some of those myths might be true.”
While some people who have been vaccinated have contracted the coronavirus, their symptoms are minor and not life-threatening. He urged people to double-check the authenticity of sources before sharing material on social media, claiming that in the case of scientific misinformation, “not sharing is caring.” He also c, urging them to “act with greater transparency and accountability” regarding policing disinformation on their platforms. Vaccination rates in the United States have become increasingly partisan.