The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins has warned against “misinformation” online and suggested that those who spread misinformation should be “brought to justice.”
Collins made the comments in defense of his colleague Dr. Anthony Fauci, who he says has been subjected to harassment over “misinformation.”
“Conspiracies are winning here. Truth is losing. That’s a really serious indictment of the way in which our society seems to be traveling,” said Collins in an interview with The Washington Post.
Over the past few weeks in particular, Fauci has been severely criticized after an animal rights group called the White Coat Waste Project accused the NIH of being involved and funding research where dogs were experimented on.
“Truth is supposed to be truth,” Collins said, “and the fact that your truth would be so heavily modified by your social circle or where you get your news tells you we’re in real trouble.”
He added that people should be concerned that “somebody’s Facebook post carries as much weight as a statement from the director of the CDC about what is the truth of a public health crisis.”
He suggested two solutions: First, identifying the spreaders of misinformation and bringing them to justice. Second, finding an effective way of countering false claims with the truth.
“He didn’t specify what exactly either one would entail,” The Post reported.
Suggesting that people who spread allegedly false claims should be “brought to justice” is unconstitutional.