During the COVID-19 pandemic, people have been exposed to an abundance of information from a large number of sources. 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.
Although health misinformation is not a recent phenomenon, in recent years it has spread at unprecedented speed and scale, especially online. But, together, we have the power to build a healthier information environment where we make more informed decisions about our health and the health of our loved ones and communities.
Preventing and addressing health misinformation is a major priority for the Surgeon General. In a new Surgeon General’s Advisory, available below, the Surgeon General is warning the American public about the urgent threat of health misinformation and calling for a whole-of-society approach to address health misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
|Confronting Health Misinformation: The U.S. Surgeon General’s Advisory on Building a Healthy Information Environment||Advisory||2021|