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U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy on Thursday issued an advisory warning the American public about the “urgent threat” of health misinformation and disinformation that have “threatened the U.S. response to COVID-19 and continue to prevent Americans from getting vaccinated, prolonging the pandemic and putting lives at risk.”
Murthy, who operates under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), said in a press release, “As Surgeon General, my job is to help people stay safe and healthy, and without limiting the spread of health misinformation, American lives are at risk.”
According to the HHS press release, whether “health misinformation” is false, inaccurate or misleading will be determined by the “best available evidence.”
“We can meaningfully improve the health information environment even without a consensus definition of misinformation,” Murthy said.
The full advisory lays out recommendations for families, health professionals, researchers, educators, media, funders, government and technology platforms, and urges individuals to take responsibility to limit the spread of misinformation.
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The advisory calls for media and social media companies to increase staff to moderate posts, amplify preferred voices, improve algorithms to address misinformation, moderate live streams and impose “clear consequences for accounts that repeatedly violate platform policies.”
Schools and educational institutions are encouraged to crack down on misinformation by educating people on “tactics used by those who deny scientific consensus on health issues” and “introduce conspiracies.”
In an interview with NPR, Murthy said Americans must do their part to fight misinformation. “COVID has really brought into sharp focus the full extent of damage that health misinformation is doing,” Murthy said ahead of the advisory’s release.
Surgeon general’s advisories are reserved for significant public health challenges that demand immediate attention.
“Facebook needs to move more quickly to remove violative posts,” Psaki said. “Posts that will be within their policies’ removal often remain up for days. That’s too long. The information spreads too quickly,” she said.
A CNN source said Biden officials took concerns about vaccine misinformation to Facebook and concluded the tech giant was either not “taking this very seriously, or they are hiding something” due to what they view as Facebook’s unwillingness to tackle vaccine misinformation.
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The Facebook spokesperson told CNN, “We don’t automatically disable accounts across our apps, because the accounts may post about different things on our different services.”
In an interview today with The Defender, Kennedy said:
“I’m very happy to debate the Surgeon General or to line my stacks up against his and allow the public to judge which one of us is the source of misinformation — is the font of all the vaccine misinformation, disinformation and obfuscation. I would also remind the Surgeon General that censorship by the government is not just un-American, it’s unconstitutional, and he should have the confidence in his policies in the marketplace of ideas and not have to rely on coercion.”
Kennedy said it’s not up to the government or CNN to decide. He said:
“It’s a dangerous path for democracy when we allow government officials and CNN, which is utterly dependent on pharmaceutical advertising, to tell Americans they are not allowed to criticize pharmaceutical products — zero liability, experimental pharmaceutical products.”
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— Robert F. Kennedy Jr (@RobertKennedyJr) July 8, 2021
Psaki called for Facebook to make more information public about who, and how many people are seeing and interacting with what the administration labels “misinformation” about COVID.
The CNN source said administration officials were frustrated with what they view as Facebook’s failures to uphold its own policies on vaccine misinformation — the company often does not act fast enough or is inconsistent in its policing of violating content, the officials complain.
Rockefeller Foundation commits $13.5 million to misinformation campaign
On the same day the surgeon general issued his advisory, The Rockefeller Foundation issued a press release announcing $13.5 million in new funding to, among other things, “counter health mis- and disinformation — confusing, inaccurate, and harmful information that spreads at an unprecedented speed and scale and threatens the health and wellbeing of communities around the world.”
The Foundation cited the surgeon general’s call for a “whole-of-society effort” so that people around the world know what to do and can trust the sources they hear from during a public health emergency, such as the COVID pandemic.
“By identifying mis- and disinformation as a challenge to our collective health, the surgeon general’s guidance reinforces The Rockefeller Foundation’s role in investing in data-driven public health interventions to meet the unique challenges of today’s media environment,” said Bruce Gellin, the foundation’s chief of global public health strategy.
The foundation said the funding will “support the design and evaluation of interventions, tools and methods to build trust in COVID vaccination efforts and counter inaccurate information and research to understand how inaccurate health information impacts online and offline behaviors, the true cost of mis- and disinformation on health and economic outcomes and what strategies might be most effective to counter and manage inaccurate and harmful information from malicious sources.”
Detailed information is slated to be released by the end of 2021, the foundation said.
© 2021 Children’s Health Defense, Inc. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of Children’s Health Defense, Inc. Want to learn more from Children’s Health Defense? Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. Your donation will help to support us in our efforts.
New Conservative Network Seeks Crowdfunding Help
They say we have to go big or go home. We’re trying to go big and bring the patriotic truth the the nation, but we need help.
Readers may or may not realize that over the past year, we’ve been bringing more conservative news and opinion outlets under our wing. Don’t take our expansion as a sign of riches; all of the “acquisitions” have been through sweat and promises of greater things to come for all involved. As a result, we’ve been able to bring together several independent media sites under a unified vision of preventing America from succumbing to the progressive, “woke,” Neo-Marxist ideologies that are spreading like wildfire across America.
The slow and steady reopening of America is revealing there was a lot more economic hardship brought about from the Covd-19 lockdowns than most realize. While we continue to hope advertising dollars on the sites go up, it’s simply not enough to do things the right way. We are currently experiencing a gap between revenue and expenses that cannot be overcome by click-ads and MyPillow promos alone (promo code “NOQ” by the way).
To overcome our revenue gap and keep these sites running, our needs fluctuate between $3000-$7000 per month. In other words, we’re in the red and hemorrhaging.
Many are struggling in this economy. My family is among them. Please support what we’re doing here and help us to continue to spread the truth Americans need to read and hear.
The best way you can help us grow and continue to bring the truth to the people is by donating. We appreciate everything, whether a dollar or $10,000. Anything brings us closer to a point of stability when we can hire writers, editors, and support staff to make the America First message louder. Our Giving Fuel page makes it easy to donate one-time or monthly. Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal as well.
As the world spirals towards radical progressivism, the need for truthful journalism has never been greater. But in these times, we need as many conservative media voices as possible. Please help keep NOQ Report and the other sites in the network going.
Thank you and God Bless,
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We Often Feel Like David Taking on Giants
Today’s Goliath is the Mainstream Media Industrial Complex that brainwashes the masses.
Our mission is very straightforward: To counter the false narratives and nefarious agendas destroying America today. It isn’t easy for obvious reasons; despite incredible growth over the last year we are still a very tiny fish in a huge media pond. But we’re fighting and we will continue to do so, Lord willing, for as long as we possibly can. The battle for America’s present and future is too important for us to back down to the giants that stand in our way.
We need help. I don’t want to say “desperately,” but the need is definitely great. If you have the means, please donate through our GivingFuel page, PayPal, or our brand new GiveSendGo page. Your generosity is what keeps these sites running and allows us to get the truth to the masses. We’ve had great success in growing but we know we can do more with your assistance.
Thank you, and God Bless!