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A Tidal Wave of Misinformation

March 06, 2023

The U.S. faces a growing challenge to correct misinformation and counter disinformation that has decreased trust in public health and science.

Launched this month, The Coalition for Trust in Health & Science has begun a national effort to “advance trust and factual science-based decision-making” and help Americans navigate a growing sea of online information. The “big tent” coalition includes 50 leading national organizations from across the entire health ecosystem, including the American Hospital Association.

“The United States is experiencing a tidal wave of misinformation and disinformation, which has real-world health impacts, such as preventable misery and deaths, and is escalating already dangerously high levels of mistrust and distrust in (health care), public health and science,” Reed Tuckson, MD, convener of the Coalition for Trust in Health & Science, said in a statement.

Here's what you need to know:

  • Vision:  The coalition seeks to ensure everyone has “access to the accurate, understandable and relevant information necessary to make personally appropriate health choices and decisions.”
  • Growing challenge:  Health misinformation is not a new phenomenon, but it has intensified—especially online via social media—during the pandemic, a recent surgeon’s general advisory noted.
  • Taking action:  In addition to offering resources, the coalition plans to facilitate “rapid-cycle debunking” of disinformation and misinformation that have the potential to harm the public.
  • Coalition members:  The coalition includes members from applied science, academia, clinical roles, insurers, health regulators, ethicists, and public health, among others.
  • Quotable:  “Addressing this infodemic is fundamental to the values of the Coalition’s members and, together, we can and will make a positive impact on the health of individuals and the nation,” Tuckson said.

Additional information about the coalition is available online.