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Impact of COVID-19 Health Misinformation in the Digital Information Environment

In May, the ATS submitted comments to the Office of the Surgeon General on the impact of health information in the digital information environment throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy released a Surgeon General’s Advisory on Confronting Health Misinformation, accompanied by a toolkit for community leaders.


The ATS comments addressed how COVID-19 misinformation has affected the quality of patient care during the pandemic as well as healthcare systems and infrastructure, including the decreased uptake of evidence-based prevention (for example, vaccines, masks, distancing, quarantine/isolation) and treatment, the increased update of non-evidence-based prevention and treatment (for example, hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin, vitamins) through exposure from social medical platforms, decreased overall trust in public health authorities and healthcare providers, increased harassment and abuse of healthcare providers and significant distress and burnout.

Last Reviewed: June 2022