“Spreading like wildfire”: COVID-19 misinformation proliferates online as cases among unvaccinated surge

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For another time, the Joe Biden administration on Sunday pointed fingers against social media platforms for the proliferation of COVID-19 misinformation amid the increasing virus cases in the country.

The US surgeon general Vivek Murthy said social media companies fall short in policing the online spread of misinformation.

Murthy has also accused these platforms, including Facebook, of “poisoning information” regarding COVID-19 vaccines.

“The reality is that misinformation is still spreading like wildfire in our country aided and abetted by technology platforms,” Murthy told Fox News Sunday.

“I’m worried about what is to come because we are seeing increasing cases among the unvaccinated in particular. It’s so important people have the information they need about the vaccine … it is our fastest, most effective way out of this pandemic.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday said that COVID-19 cases in the country have increased by 70 percent in a week with the Delta variant’s continued threat.

The CDC said the increase in cases was observed in 48 states and stayed the same in two others.

Forty-six percent of the fresh cases were recorded in four states including California, Missouri, Texas and Florida.

“This is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, CDC’s director, said on Friday.

The director said only 48.5 percent of adults in the country have completed their vaccines. The majority, or 99.5 percent, of the hospitalizations from COVID-19, she noted, were made up of unvaccinated people.

Meanwhile, the remarks of Murthy came after Biden’s statement that Facebook is “killing people” because of its failure to stop the spread of wrong information online, The Guardian reported.

The reluctance of the public was further fueled by the skeptical stance among well-known Republicans and right-leaning TV personalities.