The Global Health Security Network has taken the narrative about the danger of any type of objection to coronavirus inoculation up a couple of notches, as it links it to the threat of violence and terrorism.
This Australia-based group has published a new report warning that opposition to a future vaccine might result in radicalization of the population.
Judging by an article published by media and recruitment platform Devex, the report, “The COVID-19 pandemic vs Post-Truth,” deals with what it calls conspiracy theorists, or those receptive to conspiracy theories.
At present, more than one third of US citizens are currently saying they would refuse to get vaccinated, while the alarmist tone of the report is clearly aimed at swaying their opinion – who wants to be branded a conspiracy theorist, let alone a terrorist?
In addition, Global Health Security Network report's lead author, Jennifer Hunt, says that fact-checking of content and (re) directing of social media users to “authoritative” sources is no longer enough.
Hunt, who lectures at the Australian National University's Security College, instead wants conspiracy theories to be stopped “before they have a chance of spreading.”
A key recommendation on how to achieve this is to pressure tech companies to monitor and censor content even more stringently, and involve governments in this process.
The report is worded aggressively, mentioning terrorism and extremism, and asking governments to treat vaccine skeptics the same way they do child abuse content.
Another recommendation is to change professional codes of conduct that would allow for doctors, among others, to face disciplinary action if they are found not toeing the line on coronavirus and a future vaccine.
And while the Australian group's report paints those who might resist coronavirus inoculation as basically conspiracy-advancing fear mongers, who might easily incite violence – thus in effect attempting to criminalize any opposition – the report itself could be seen as fear mongering in its own right.
After all, Hunt shares that the goal of the report is “like an inoculation, to get there before the disease” – where “the disease” is everything that's considered to be coronavirus disinformation.