COVID-19: thousands of deaths caused by misinformation
Misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic has caused thousands of preventable deaths and hospitalizations across the country, a new study has found.
Beliefs that the pandemic was exaggerated or simply untrue, or that vaccines could alter DNA may have claimed the lives of around 2,800 people, in addition to nailing thousands more to beds hospitals.
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At least that's what a new report by a group of Council experts concludes Canadian Academies, reported Thursday the National Post.
Between March and November 2021, misinformation reportedly stopped more than 2.4 million people from getting their vaccine against the virus.
If everyone world had been vaccinated as soon as they could, that would have reduced positive cases of COVID-19 by 200,000, in addition to decreasing hospitalizations by 13,000, according to the expert group.
In this “post-truth” era, as panel chair Alex Himelfarb dubbed it, “the very idea of truth seems to be under attack,” and “misinformation is tied to ideology and identity and arouses great passions”.
However, these data do not take into account the “indirect consequences” of the pandemic, including the postponement of surgeries, the costs of treating long-term COVID and the burden of the crisis on healthcare workers.
To reach these conclusions, the group looked at peer-reviewed publications, government information and statistics, and media reports.< /p>
He also commissioned a model based on actual data of vaccinations, positive cases, hospitalizations and deaths between March and November 2021.
Over this same period, a survey Abacus had also revealed that 7% of Canadian adults were reluctant to vaccination, and 7% refused it. Among those who refused the vaccine, 85% thought the vaccine was “covering up” harm, and 73% believed the COVID-19 virus was fake or exaggerated.