Providence, RI (AP) – As the world rushes to find a cure for the vaccine and COVID-19, there is no lethality in sight for coronovirus conspiracy theories, deception, anti-mask myths and outbreaks for sham cures.
The incident surfaced largely on social media when President Donald Trump this week retweeted an inaccurate video about an anti-malarial drug treatment for the virus and it was revealed that Russian intelligence had a crisis on English-language websites Spreading disintegration about.
Experts worry that the edge of bad information is dangerously undercutting efforts to slow down the virus, which has been blamed for around 150,000 deaths in the US and more than one and a half million people worldwide.
On Wednesday, Florida reported 216 deaths, breaking the single-day record set a day earlier. And South Carolina died this week at more than 1,500, double that of the previous month.
“It’s a real challenge in terms of trying to get the message out to the public about what they can actually do to protect themselves and what the facts are behind the problem. Said Michael Osterholm, head of the University of Minnesota’s Infectious Diseases .Research and Policy.
He said the fear is that “people are putting themselves at a disadvantage because they don’t believe the virus is something they have to deal with.”
Rather than fade away in the face of new evidence, the claims have blossomed, fed up with mixed messages from officials, transmitted by social media, harassed by leaders such as Trump and confronted with contradictory facts.
“You don’t need a mask. There is a cure, ”Dr. Stella Emanuel promised in a video promoting hydroxychloroquine. “You don’t need to shut people down.”
Truth: Federal regulators last month revoked their authorization of the drug as an emergency treatment amid mounting evidence that it does not work and may have fatal side effects. Even if it were effective, it would not negate the need for masks and other measures to prevent outbreaks.
No one praised Trump repeatedly preventing Trump from retweeting the video. Twitter and Facebook began removing the video on Monday for violating policies on COVID-19 misinformation, but it had already been viewed more than 20 million times.
Many of the claims in Emmanuel’s video are widely disputed by medical experts. He has made even more bizarre announcements in the past, stating that ulcers, fibroids, and some other conditions can be caused by having sex with monsters, that McDonald’s and Pokémon promote witchcraft, that alien DNA Used in medical treatment, and half-human “reptiles” work in government.
Other baseless theories and hoaxes allege that the virus is not genuine or that it is a bioinformation made by the US or its advisors. a hoax In the initial months of the outbreak it was claimed that the virus was spreading via microwaves in the new 5G towers. Another popular story is that Microsoft founder Bill Gates plans to use COVID-19 vaccines to implant microchips In all 7 billion humans on the planet.
Then there are political theories – that doctors, journalists and federal officials are conspiring to lie about the threat of the virus to politically hurt Trump.
Social media amplified the claims and helped believers find each other. The flood of misinformation has presented a challenge to Facebook, Twitter and other platforms, who have found themselves accused of taking virus misinformation on censorship.
A professionally made 26-minute video featuring the government’s top infectious disease specialist Dr. Anthony Fauci has been charged, manufactured the virus and shipped to China, before the platforms would act on more than 8 million views. The video, titled “Plandemic”, also warned that masks could make you sick – a false claim was cited when Facebook removed the video from its site.
Sinclair Broadcast Group’s show “America This Week” featured the infamous Doctor Judy Mikovits behind “Plandemic”. But the company, which operates TV stations in 81 US markets, is canned Section, stating that it was “not fair”.
This week, US government officials, citing a condition of anonymity, said there was a clear link between Russian intelligence and websites with stories designed to spread disinfectants on coronoviruses in the West. The Russian authorities denied the allegations.
Of all the bizarre and myriad claims about the virus, those about masks are proving to be the most stubborn.
Carlos Lopez, a resident of New York City, said he wears a mask when necessary to do so but does not believe it is necessary.
“They are politicizing it as a tool,” he said. “I think it’s more to try to lose Trump. It’s a more intimidating tactic.”
He is in a minority. Recent AP / NORC Poll It was found that 3 in 4 Americans – Democrats and Republicans alike – support a national mask mandate.
Nevertheless, masked skeptics are a vocal minority and have come together to create social media pages where many false claims about masked security have been shared. Facebook has removed some pages – such as the group Unmasking America !, which had about 10,000 members – but others remain. a Video A woman who attacked a masked display at an Arizona target received nearly 84,000 likes on Twitter.
Early in the epidemic, medical officials were themselves the source of much confusion about masks. In February, like officials American Surgeon General Americans were urged not to stock masks as they were required by medical personnel and may not be effective in everyday situations.
Public health officials changed their tune when it became clear that the virus could spread to people without any symptoms.
Yet Trump remained reluctant to use a mask, made fun of his rival Joe Biden for wearing one, and suggested to people that they might cover his face just for politically hurting him. He made an abrupt encounter about this month, claiming that he had always supported the mask – then later retweeted Emmanuel’s video against the mask.
Stunned by mixed indications, Fauci admitted in an interview with NPR this month.
“The message quickly became confusing,” he said.
Many claims around masks allege harmful effects, such as blocked oxygen flow or a greater chance of infection. The claims have been widely rejected by doctors.
Dr. of Ireland Maitu O Tutail became so concerned about the misinformation of the mask that he comfortably wore an online video of himself measuring his oxygen levels. The video has been viewed more than 20 million times.
“While face masks do not lower your oxygen levels. COVID certainly does,” he warned.
Yet credible medical authorities are often dismissed by those who say that people are required to wear masks, a step toward totalitarianism.
“You will wear a mask for the rest of your life until you make a stand,” tweeted Simon Dolan, a British businessman who has sued the government over its COVID-19 restrictions.
Trump’s reluctant, bisexual and late-embrace embrace has not convinced some of his strongest supporters who have ever considered more elaborate theories to explain his change of heart. Some people say that he was actually speaking in code and doesn’t really support masks.
Hey Tuthel saw how COVID-19 could be misinformation when, after his video was aired, he received emails from people who said he cheated, or lengthened the mask to feel the negative effects Not worn for the time.
It is not wrong, according to Chrysalis Wright, a psychology professor at the University of Central Florida, who gives incorrect information. She said that conspiracy theories believers often engage in mental gymnastics to conform their beliefs to reality.
“People only want to hear what they already think they know,” she said.
Associated Press authors Beatrice Dupuy in New York, Eric Tucker in Washington and Amy Forlity in Minneapolis contributed to this report.