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Misinformation about COVID-19 is costing lives, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy lamented Sunday, as case numbers are increasing throughout the country.
“All of us — including the media, including individuals, health professionals — have a responsibility to share the truth about health, as science dictates,” he told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday.
“My worry is that all this misinformation that’s floating around is having a real cost that can be measured in lives lost, and that is just tragic,” Murthy said.
The comments came after President Biden on Friday blasted Facebook and other social media platforms for allowing misinformation about COVID-19 to spread.
“They’re killing people,” Biden said of the sites, prompting Facebook to insist it’s doing its best to purge misinformation from its platform.
Speaking Sunday, Murthy also voiced concern about a surge in COVID-19 cases among unvaccinated people. Recent weeks have seen the pace of vaccinations decrease and the highly contagious delta variant of the virus take hold as the main strain in the country.
“I am worried about what is to come because we are seeing increasing cases among the unvaccinated in particular,” the surgeon general said. “And while if you are vaccinated you are very well protected against hospitalization and death, unfortunately that is not true if you are not vaccinated.”
Arkansas, Florida, Missouri and Nevada are undergoing new outbreaks, according to reports, though the country’s daily number of COVID-19 deaths remains around the lowest levels since spring 2020.