During the COVID-19 pandemic, people have been exposed to a great deal of information: news, public health guidance, fact sheets, infographics, research, opinions, rumors, myths, falsehoods, and more. The World Health Organization and the United Nations have characterized this unprecedented spread of information as an “infodemic.”
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.