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White House adviser, Ashish Jha, says doctors need to combat online “misinformation”

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Ashish Jha, the coordinator of the White House COVID response team, called on doctors to fill the medical information vacuum. He alleged that there was a continuing COVID death toll caused by “misinformation.”

Speaking at a doctors’ conference in Waltham, Massachusetts, Jha told doctors that they need to be skilled in clearing uncertainty in the way they explain to a stranger what a test or scan means.

He stressed that the uncertainty of COVID-19 is not different, but there are too many sources of information, particularly online, meaning doctors have to contribute and provide reliable information.

“What we have seen is the widespread propagation of misinformation and disinformation. And the reason it has taken root is because there was an information vacuum,” Jha said. “I come back to our role as physicians. It is critical that we fill that vacuum because if we don’t, others will,” Stat reported.

Jha expressed his frustration at people allegedly still dying of COVID daily yet there are free treatments and vaccines.

“If you are up to date on your vaccines and you get treated with Paxlovid, if you get an infection, you just don’t die of this virus. Almost no one dies of this virus,” he said.

“Almost every one of those deaths is preventable. And yet people are still dying. And that is the power of misinformation. That is the power of disinformation that we all have to work on countering.”

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