UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Tuesday that the world is facing “a dangerous epidemic of misinformation” about COVID-19 and announced a UN campaign to flood the internet with facts and science to counter what he called “a poison” that is putting lives at risk.
The UN chief decried what he described as a global “misinfo-demic” that is spreading harmful health advice, “snake-oil solutions,” falsehoods, and wild conspiracy theories.
Guterres urged social media organizations to do more to counter the misinformation and to “root out hate and harmful assertions about COVID-19.”
“Hatred is going viral, stigmatizing and vilifying people and groups,” he said in a video statement. “Mutual respect and upholding human rights must be our compass in navigating this crisis.”
The UN chief said people around the world “are scared” and want to know what to do and where to turn for advice, and they need science.
The secretary-general saluted “journalists and others fact-checking the mountain of misleading stories and social media posts.”
He called for trust in science and in institutions “grounded in responsive, responsible, evidence-based governance and leadership.”
“Together, let’s reject the lies and nonsense out there,” Guterres said. “With common cause for common sense and facts, we can defeat COVID-19 -- and build a healthier, more equitable, just and resilient world.”
Debunking coronavirus myths: Sesame oil doesn’t help, neither does holy basilThe appearance of the coronavirus, which has infected 14,000 people and killed more than 300 since it emerged in the city of Wuhan in China, has ... Variety
Heavy alcohol drinking raises coronavirus risk: ExpertsHeavy drinking of alcohol may increase the risk of contracting coronavirus and the severity of COVID-19, warn experts amid reports that alcohol ... Features