EPPC Scholars Explain to HHS How Federal Government Promoted COVID-19 Health Misinformation

Published May 2, 2022

On May 2, 2022, EPPC HHS Accountability Project Fellows Dr. David Gortler and Rachel N. Morrison submitted comment in response to a request for information by the Department of Health and Human Services on the impact and prevalence of “health misinformation” during the COVID-19 pandemic. The request defines “health misinformation” as “health information that is false, inaccurate, or misleading according to the best available evidence at the time.” 

The EPPC scholars’ comment details numerous ways that federal government agencies and officials—including the Centers for Disease Control, Food and Drug Administration, the White House, and Dr. Anthony Fauci—were purveyors of COVID-19 misinformation, leading to distrust in the government and health care systems and providers, and curtailing the ability of medical professionals to provide quality and lifesaving care to their patients. The EPPC scholars stated: “While rightly concerned about health misinformation during a pandemic, we urge the federal government to look first inward to its shifting, contradictory, and unscientific response to the pandemic that has led to massive public distrust in the government and public health systems.”

Read the scholars’ full comment here (PDF).

Rachel N. Morrison is a Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, where she directs EPPC’s HHS Accountability Project. An attorney, her legal and policy work focuses on religious liberty, health care rights of conscience, the right to life, nondiscrimination, and civil rights.

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