The Surgeon General’s RFI on the Impact of Health Misinformation in the Digital Information Environment in the United States Throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic is now closed. Check back here for updates.
Coming Soon: Stories and Research on Health Misinformation
U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy called on the public to share research, data, and personal experiences related to health misinformation, in an effort to deepen our collective understanding of its sources and impact. The time period for accepting submissions has now closed. More information about the findings from the RFI will be available soon, pending a thorough review of all the submissions that were received. In the meantime, continue reading below to learn more about the purpose and scope of this initiative.
Why is this important?
During the pandemic, many of us have been exposed to health misinformation— information that is false, inaccurate, or misleading according to the best available evidence at the time. It can be really hard to know what is true amidst all this misinformation.
Health 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. It has also led to harassment of and violence against public health workers, health care workers, airline staff, and other frontline workers.
In 2021 Surgeon General Vivek Murthy released a Surgeon General’s Advisory on Confronting Health Misinformation, accompanied by a toolkit for community leaders. In March 2022, as the next step in this work, the Surgeon General put out a Request for Information (RFI) on the Impact of Health Misinformation in the Digital Information Environment in the United States Throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic.
What is a Request for Information?
A Request for Information (RFI) is a tool for engaging with the public and gathering input from a variety of voices. It aids us in learning about the issue of health misinformation and how best to address it. The Surgeon General’s RFI on the Impact of Health Misinformation in the Digital Information Environment in the United States Throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic provided a platform to discover new information, consolidate existing knowledge, and elevate stories of how people’s lives have been affected by health misinformation.
How will this information be used?
Stories and information submitted to the RFI will be used to prepare for and respond to future public health crises. As part of the RFI process, public comments and responses that fit the criteria for submission will also be made available to the public and can be used for research purposes. We will share what we learn through the RFI directly with the public at surgeongeneral.gov/RFI.