Watch out, because anti-coronavirus fake news is everywhere!
COVID-19 is one of the worst diseases the world has ever seen. For it has not only caused great physical and psychological suffering to people, but has also ruined the economies of relatively wealthy nations. Then what is the economy of the poor countries?
Perhaps the greatest damage it has done is to human relationships. If it had been predicted from the start that the fear of COVID would reduce physical contact with other people to a minimum, few would have believed it.
But it happened. People in nursing homes; Hospitals; Workplaces and even the homes of friends and neighbors in the immediate vicinity were avoided by their own relatives and friends and work colleagues.
So, ultimately, the pandemic can kill many people with loneliness and depression caused by an unfounded belief that they are somehow responsible for the lack of “attraction” that led to their social isolation. In reality, after the psychological scars Covid may have inflicted on us, we will never be the same again.
It is disturbing to learn that in addition to these horrific realities we are facing through Covid, certain individuals in wealthy countries are trying to make money by selling “snake oil” as a cure for Covid. More dangerous is the fact that in order to sell their counterfeit “cures” they consciously try to undermine the immensely skilful scientific advances in building human immunity to the disease – through vaccinations.
The vaccination is of course “counterintuitive” at best. The human mind is hardwired for its own protection to resist attempts to introduce alien elements into the body that houses it. (In fact, in Ghana, when we were kids, some of us ran away from school when we heard people came to “kill” us (stab us with sharp instruments and inject something into our bodies!) Unfortunately for us, the vaccination officers seemed to be clever because they always surprised us and almost always caught us!
Our fear of vaccination was compounded by the fact that some of the people who administered the vaccination sometimes neglected hygiene. The result was that they ultimately resulted in our arm getting a painful wound! Personally, I have vaccination scars and I know many others who have similar scars. In fact, we’ve kind of accepted the idea that such scars are some kind of “vaccination certificate”. Some were even proud to exhibit them!
Who, I wonder, trained these health workers? They didn’t seem to be at all aware of the psychological aspects of their job! I remember an idiot who was in charge of vaccination in the vaccination department of the Ministry of Health pissed me off when I wanted to travel out of Ghana for the first time and needed a health certificate bump me because the skin on my arm – I remember still today of his rough words – “too limp!”.
Covid-19, unfortunately I have to say, has rightly scared people and many are afraid to get close to loved ones, not just because they fear that they will infect them with Covid-19, but because they could pass covid on to the people beloved.
How can you be absolutely sure that the vaccination (if you have had both vaccinations) will give you full, one hundred percent immunity that will prevent infection and / or transmission of the disease? Don’t people in the UK (for example) get “pinged” from specially equipped phones in order to isolate themselves even after they have both been stung? Aren’t mistakes common in health prevention?
Amid all of this real uncertainty, the New York Times reports that someone in America is making money online, peddling falsehoods about vaccines, while at the same time offering – as vaccine replacements – what they call “natural remedies” for Covid that are untested and untested are officially approved.
According to the paper, the person concerned had published an article that began with a seemingly innocuous question about the “legal definition of vaccines”. But then he devoted over 3,000 words to denouncing coronavirus vaccines in general as “medical fraud!”
He claimed anti-Covid injections didn’t prevent infection, confer immunity, or stop the transmission of the disease. Instead, the shots “change” (in his opinion) people’s “genetic coding” and turn their bodies into “a viral protein factory that has no switch” (!)
The article has been translated from English into Spanish and Polish. It appeared on dozens of blogs and was picked up by vaccination opponents who repeated the false claims online. It also found its way on Facebook.
The person responsible for this amazing example of misinformation was, reports the New York Times, a Joseph Mercola. He is 67 and works as an osteopathic doctor in Cape Coral, Florida. The paper describes him as someone who “has long been the subject of criticism and government action to encourage undetected or unapproved treatments. But recently, according to researchers, it has become the major online circulator of coronavirus misinformation.
As an “internet savvy entrepreneur” (as the Times described him), he employs dozens of people and has “published more than 600 articles on Facebook that have raised concerns about COVID-19 vaccines since the beginning of the pandemic and reached far larger audiences than others “. Vaccine skeptics “.
Such activities have earned Mercola (“a natural health advocate with an Everyman Behavior”) the dubious accolade of taking first place in the “Disinformation Dozen,” a list of 12 people responsible for controlling 65% of all anti-disinformation Share vaccine news on social media.
“Mercola pioneered the anti-vaccine movement,” said a University of Washington researcher who studies online conspiracy theories. “He is a master at using times of uncertainty like the pandemic to expand his movement.”
Mercola and others in the “Disinformation Dozen” are in the spotlight as vaccinations have slowed in the US and the highly contagious “Delta variant” of Covid has sparked a resurgence in cases.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “more than 97% of people hospitalized for COVID-19 are unvaccinated.” President Joe Biden has blamed “online falsehoods” for preventing people from taking the injections. He also called on social media companies to “do something about the misinformation”.
The New York Times further reveals that “Mercola has built a huge company over the past decade to promote natural health regimens, disseminate and benefit from anti-vaccination content … In 2017, he filed an affidavit where he claimed his network was worth “over $ 100 million”.
Rather than directly saying online that vaccines won’t work, Mercola’s posts often ask specific questions about their safety and discuss studies that other doctors have refuted.
“He was breathed new life through social media, which he cleverly and ruthlessly exploited to captivate people,” said Imran Ahmed, director of the Center for Countering Digital Hate, which investigates misinformation and hate speech. His “Disinformation Dozen” report has been quoted in Congressional hearings and by the White House.
Meanwhile, a conservative radio host in Tennessee who was openly skeptical of COVID-19 vaccines has been hospitalized for the illness and is in intensive care. He is named as Phil Valentine who is hosting a show on Nashville, Tennessee’s WWTN-FM. He has been diagnosed with the coronavirus and is now “in a very serious condition,” his family said in a statement.
The family added, “Phil wants his audience to know that while he was never an ‘anti-vaxer’ he ‘regrets not being vehemently’ pro-vaccine ” and looks forward to taking that position more forcefully to be able to. “as soon as it is on the air again … AND PLEASE HAVE YOU VACCINATED!” the instruction added (!).