ABSTRACT

Confronting Health Misinformation: 'The U.S. Surgeon General's Advisory on Building a Healthy Information Environment'   [open pdf - 274KB]

From the Background: "During the COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] pandemic, people have been exposed to a great deal of information: news, public health guidance, fact sheets, infographics, research, opinions, rumors, myths, falsehoods, and more. The World Health Organization and the United Nations have characterized this unprecedented spread of information as an 'infodemic.' While information has helped people stay safe throughout the pandemic, it has at times led to confusion. For example, scientific knowledge about COVID-19 has evolved rapidly over the past year, sometimes leading to changes in public health recommendations. Updating assessments and recommendations based on new evidence is an essential part of the scientific process, and further changes are to be expected as we continue learning more about COVID-19. But without sufficient communication that provides clarity and context, many people have had trouble figuring out what to believe, which sources to trust, and how to keep up with changing knowledge and guidance. Amid all this information, many people have also been exposed to health misinformation: information that is false, inaccurate, or misleading according to the best available evidence at the time. Misinformation has caused confusion and led people to decline COVID-19 vaccines, reject public health measures such as masking and physical distancing, and use unproven treatments."

Author:
Publisher:
Date:
2021
Series:
Copyright:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: https://www.hhs.gov/
Format:
pdf
Media Type:
application/pdf
URL:
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Listed on July 28, 2021 [Critical Releases]