Primary source of COVID misinformation is the feds, scientists and scholars tell surgeon general

U.S Surgeon General Vivek Murthy recently asked the public how COVID-19 misinformation “in the digital information environment” had affected health outcomes, trust in the healthcare system and “likelihood to vaccinate,” among other issues.

According to vaccine and healthcare policy experts who joined with Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, the misinformation is coming from inside the house.

They filed a comment in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proceeding, accusing the CDC and other health organizations of promoting falsehoods and shoddy research that “shattered the public’s trust in science and public health,” which will “take decades to repair.”

Rokita and epidemiologists Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford School of Medicine and Martin Kulldorff, formerly of Harvard Medical School, also took aim at official government figures for COVID deaths that are repeatedly cited in the media.

“The government spent close to $5 trillion fighting COVID-19, but still can’t provide Hoosiers with an accurate number of deaths or hospitalizations from COVID-19,” Rokita said in a press release.

While the comment doesn’t mention National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci, the press release specifically calls him out for “misleading messages” about the abilities of vaccines, masks and asymptomatic testing to stop COVID transmission. 

Keep reading

Twitter Allows White House to Make ‘Clearly False’ Claim That COVID Vaccine Wasn’t Available Until Biden Era

Twitter’s policy has been banishment of accounts posting COVID-19 misinformation, so will the official White House account suffer that punishment?

“When President Biden took office, millions were unemployed and there was no vaccine available,” says a Thursday afternoon post to the verified White House account. It segued from there to talk about unemployment numbers.

The bold lie that there was no vaccine available is even more astonishing when considering President Joe Biden was fully vaccinated before his Inauguration Day ceremony.

Mainstream media documented the availability of COVID-19 vaccines beginning with Pfizer’s announcement of an effective coronavirus vaccine six days after the election. A December 10, 2020, report by The Washington Post credited former President Donald Trump with proving naysayers wrong by making good on his promise to have a vaccine ready within months.

Keep reading

FDA Chief Claims “Misinformation” is Leading Cause of Death in the United States

During an appearance on CNN, FDA chief Dr. Robert Califf asserted that the leading cause of death in the United States is online “misinformation.”

Yes, really.

Califf spoke about his remarks during an interview with CNN’s Pamela Brown, which were originally made at a health conference in Texas last month when he said online misinformation was “now our leading cause of death.”

After admitting that there was “no way to quantify this,” before mentioning heart disease and cancer (actual killers), Califf went on to bolster the claim anyway.

Claiming that there has been “an erosion of life expectancy,” Califf went on to say that Americans were living an average of 5 years shorter than people in other high income countries.

Califf said that anti-virals and vaccinations meant “almost no one in this country should be dying from COVID,” before going on to explain that there was also a “reduction in life expectancy from common diseases like heart disease.”

“But somehow … the reliable, truthful messages are not getting across,” he said, adding, “And it’s being washed down by a lot of misinformation, which is leading people to make bad choices that are unfortunate for their health.”

Keep reading

Misinformation, disinformation, and the 1619 Project

Earlier this year, Joe Biden asked social media companies to engage in more censorship in an effort to divert attention from the wholesale failure of his administration to “shut down the virus.” In a televised speech, he said “I make a special appeal to social media companies and media outlets: please deal with the misinformation and disinformation that’s on your shows. It has to stop.”

More recently, CNN denounced “misinformation” that blamed high gas prices and inflation on the Biden administration. Media outlets have accused Joe Rogan of “spreading disinformation” about Covid-19 and the vaccine because… he dared to ask scientific experts questions on these topics. Other examples of ideas that the legacy media has alternately labelled as “misinformation” and “disinformation” include assertions that Covid-19 escaped from a lab in Wuhan, China; the idea that there was some orchestrated manipulation of procedures to favor Biden in the 2020 election; that Hunter Biden’s laptop offered evidence that the Biden family had been enriched by various forms of international corruption; and that powerful NGOs and world governments are leveraging the pandemic to facilitate a “Great Reset” of the global economy. The campaign to ban these claims – most which are demonstrably true – indicates not a dangerous spread of “disinformation,” but a dangerous weaponization of the concept of disinformation in order to insulate the institutional left from criticism and opposition.

It is no accident that virtually every claim that is consistently labelled as disinformation is one that threatens the policy agenda of the Democratic party (or parts of their agenda that they are too embarrassed to state publicly). “Disinformation” is no longer a concept used to separate truth from falsehood. In the past few years, it has been rhetorically intensified to circumvent the question of truth entirely. It is a means to annex the public’s role in assessing the validity of reporting, placing this authority solely in the hands of “experts” who have the exclusive right to say what is “true.” Understanding the differences between “misinformation” and “disinformation” and observing the ways these concepts are arbitrarily applied is crucial to grasping how our media and other institutions undermine genuine public deliberation—a prerequisite for any functioning democracy.

Keep reading

DHS increases efforts to identify “misinformation” and “conspiracy theories” on social media

Last Spring, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas ordered an internal review to identify how to best detect, prevent, and respond to threats related to domestic violent extremism within the department.

A component of this was based on online activity. “DVE [domestic violent extremist] attackers often radicalize independently by consuming violent extremist material online and mobilize without direction from a violent extremist organization, making detection and disruption difficult,” the unclassified initial report stated.

The report (obtained here) said that extremists, “exploit a variety of popular social media platforms, smaller websites with targeted audiences, and encrypted chat applications to recruit new adherents, plan and rally support for in-person actions, and disseminate materials that contribute to radicalization and mobilization to violence.”

One of the recommendations is to increase “efforts to better identify and evaluate mis- dis- and mal-information (MDM) with a homeland security nexus, including false or misleading conspiracy theories spread on social media and other online platforms that endorse violence.”

While not directly stated, it was inferred that the DHS was in some way monitoring online activity. Obviously, some privacy and free speech concerns were raised.

And now, this month, the DHS has released a report with the findings of the review.

We obtained a copy of the report for you here.

Keep reading

DHS says online “misinformation” is a terror threat

In its latest terrorism threat bulletin, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) labeled online “misinformation” a terror threat.

The bulletin warned about the “proliferation of false or misleading narratives, which sow discord or undermine public trust in U.S. government institutions.”

The DHS further stated that there was an “online environment filled with false or misleading narratives and conspiracy theories, and other forms of mis-, dis- and mal-information introduced and/or amplified by foreign and domestic threat actors.”

“These threat actors seek to exacerbate societal friction to sow discord and undermine public trust in government institutions to encourage unrest, which could potentially inspire acts of violence,” the bulletin stated.

According to the DHS, misinformation could result in “mass casualty attacks.”

It listed unsubstantiated claims about Covid and election fraud as the two main sources of misinformation.

Keep reading