U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy has some advice for Native Americans and Indians as they deal with the unfolding second wave of Covid-19 cases and wait for the dreaded call: look out for misinformation in what you read on social media , say or send platforms.
“Misinformation is a virus in itself and it harms people, and it sometimes forces them to take actions that endanger them and other people,” Murthy said in a virtual outreach to Indian Americans about the dangers of misinformation, as India is fighting the worst public. health crisis in a century.
“In a pandemic if you respond, information is power, and if you can get the right information to people, they can take steps to protect themselves,” Murthy added, adding that the government and the private sector are all vaccinated. and masks they want, but ‘it will be of no value if people do not want to use it because of incorrect information about it’.
The United States and India are two countries hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, with cases and deaths the highest and second highest in the world, respectively. They were also hit hard by misinformation – and sometimes intentional misinformation – that some people underestimated Covid-19, suspiciously rejecting vaccines and masks.
Murthy’s remarks were first addressed by a top US health official about the possible damage caused by misinformation about the global response – especially Americans – to the tragedy unfolding in India. The US has sent $ 100 million in state aid and $ 400 million from the private sector.
When some Americans once obsessed with the magical powers of hydroxychloroquine, a drug against malaria, and played briefly with the injection of household cleaners to flush the body of the deadly virus, Indians certainly felt in their naturally built immunity to fight the virus or consider cow urine.
America’s top doctor spoke in personal terms to emphasize the ubiquity of the problem, by educating his parents, who are from Karnataka, and came to the United States via the United Kingdom, where Murthy was born. “My parents, like many other Indian immigrants of their generation, are part of WhatsApp groups,” Murthy said, adding. “They serve a wonderful purpose in keeping them connected with friends and family, but they can also become platforms where misinformation spreads quickly and that was the case.”
Social media platforms worldwide have questions about their content and their guilt. They started with the flag of dubious content and the blocking of serious posters like former President Donald Trump in the US and Bollywood star Kangana Ranaut in India.
Murthy’s way forward was created in terms that can be easily reproduced for most Indians and Indians of American descent. ‘Remind yourself that the source matters, right, and that the source is not your uncle or aunt or sister or brother who sent it to you on WhatsApp. The source is a person who created the content, who made the video to bring out that message. ‘