U.S. Surgeon General Issues Toolkit to Address Health Misinformation

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy this week released the “Community Toolkit for Addressing Health Misinformation,” intended to help Americans navigate the serious threat of health misinformation, particularly mis- and disinformation online.

Recall, this summer, Dr. Murthy issued the first Surgeon General’s Advisory of the Biden-Harris Administration warning Americans about the urgent threat of health information and calling for a  whole-of-society approach to addressing it.

The Surgeon General’s toolkit provides specific guidance to individuals, health care professionals and administrators, teachers and school administrators, and faith leaders to understand, identify, and stop the spread of health misinformation in their communities. Resources in the toolkit include:

  • A health misinformation checklist to help evaluate the accuracy of the health-related content;
  • Tips on how individuals can talk to loved ones about health misinformation
  • An outline of common types of misinformation and disinformation tactics; and
  • Reflections and examples of times individuals may have encountered misinformation.

The Surgeon General’s Office notes that during the COVID-19 pandemic, health misinformation and disinformation have threated the U.S. response to COVID-19 and continue to prevent Americans from getting vaccinated, prolonging the pandemic and putting lives at risk.

Additional information, including the full community toolkit, is available here.