From the Overview: "In early 2020 as the novel coronavirus (COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019]) took hold and turned from epidemic to pandemic, global information ecosystems became overwhelmed in what the World Health Organization called an infodemic, 'an overabundance of information -- some accurate and some not -- that makes it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when they need it.' In times of crisis, when local, timely, and relevant information is sorely needed, medical misinformation [hyperlink] thrives. This case study focuses on one such rumor: that the antimalarial medications chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) were effective treatments for COVID-19. Beginning as cloaked science [hyperlink] published as a Google document, the rumor quickly traded up the chain [hyperlink] to President Trump and his administration, who amplified it and muddied the waters [hyperlink] around COVID-19. This rumor ultimately led to a run on the medications, imperiling people who rely on them to treat existing ailments, and to at least one person's death, after a man ingested chloroquine phosphate -- aquarium cleaner -- believing it to be the chloroquine he had heard Trump tout as a treatment."
Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy
Media Manipulation Casebook: https://mediamanipulation.org/