Nathan Fletcher, Chair of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, has introduced a resolution to declare “health misinformation” a public health crisis.
Fletcher created a list of policies to combat what the government deems “health misinformation”and the county’s Board of Supervisors is set to vote on the policy Aug. 31.
“Health misinformation about COVID-19 is causing people to die and contributing significantly to our struggles with the DELTA variant,” Chair Fletcher said. “The reality that disinformation is leading people to use a medicine for horses, instead of the safe and FDA-approved vaccine is unbelievable. I feel bad for those who fall victim to misinformation. It’s ridiculous the amount of misinformation that is out there, and I want San Diego County to help stop it from spreading, I fully support the first amendment, and people’s right to say and believe what they want, but we also have the right and responsibility to call out things that are objectively false. The pervasiveness of health misinformation was on full display at our Board of Supervisors meeting a couple of weeks ago, and we have an obligation to make sure we are defending the science and pushing back on the non-science.”
Some critics of Fletcher’s policy contend that the government doesn’t have the power to decide what is considered “misinformation.” Furthermore, the government could incorrectly declare some information to be “misinformation” as science evolves.
For example, in early 2020, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Chief Medical Adviser to President Biden, notoriously advised people to not wear a mask because they are “not really effective.”
“Masks are really for infected people to prevent them from spreading infection to people who are not infected rather than protecting uninfected people from acquiring infection,” Fauci said.
“The typical mask you buy in the drug store is not really effective in keeping out virus, which is small enough to pass through material,” Fauci continued. “It might, however, provide some slight benefit in keep out gross droplets if someone coughs or sneezes on you.”
“I do not recommend that you wear a mask, particularly since you are going to a very low risk location,” Fauci added.