Misinformation on coronavirus seriously affecting Americans
The fact still remains that there is no vaccine and a treatment for Covid-19, moreover there is also seemingly no antidote in sight for it, but conspiracy theories, hoaxes, anti-mask myths and sham cures have been confusing the people tremendously.
This observed happenings are largely on the social media, which was escalated this week when President Donald Trump retweeted what many have described as a false video about an anti-malaria drug being a cure for the virus and it was also revealed that unnamed intelligence service of a particular country is spreading disinformation about the crisis through English-language websites.
It is really unfortunate as Experts are worried that the high level of misinformation is seriously undermining efforts to slow the virus. Already the death toll in the US as at Wednesday has gone up to 150,000, which according to the tally kept by Johns Hopkins University is by far the highest in the world, with over a half-million people death in the rest of the world.
The reports of deaths from some of the US states are as follows, Florida reported 216 deaths, breaking the single-day record it set a day earlier. Texas confirmed 313 additional deaths, pushing its total to 6,190, while South Carolina’s death toll passed 1,500 this week, more than doubling over the past month. In Georgia, hospitalizations have more than doubled since July 1.
Michael Osterholm, head of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, in his reaction said,”It is a real challenge in terms of trying to get the message to the public about what they can really do to protect themselves and what the facts are behind the problem.
“people are putting themselves in harm’s way because they don’t believe the virus is something they have to deal with.”
Unfortunately instead of the various fake information fading away in the face of new evidence, the claims have flourished, fed by mixed messages from officials, transmitted by social media, amplified by leaders like Trump and mutating when confronted with contradictory facts.
Someone like Dr. Stella Immanuel in a video while promoting hydroxychloroquine, said. “You don’t need masks. There is a cure.
“You don’t need people to be locked down.”
Just last month, the Federal regulators took a drastic measure by revoking their authorization of the drug as an emergency treatment amid growing evidence it doesn’t work and can have deadly side effects. Even if it were effective, it wouldn’t negate the need for masks and other measures to contain the outbreak.
Despite such measures, Trump, continued to praise the drug and retweeting the video. But Twitter and Facebook on Monday began removing the video for violating policies on COVID-19 misinformation, but it had already been seen more than 20 million times.
Various medical experts have already disputed many of the claims in Dr, Stella Immanuel’s video, as it can be recalled that she has made even more bizarre pronouncements in the past, saying that cysts, fibroids and some other conditions can be caused by having sex with demons, that McDonald’s and Pokemon promote witchcraft, that alien DNA is used in medical treatments, and that half-human “reptilians” work in the government.