Physicians face repercussions for participating in “infodemic.”
Last week, the Mississippi State Board of Medical Licensure acknowledged that they agree with the Board of Directors of the Federation of State Medical Board’s statement on doctors who spread misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine.
The statement says that physicians who generate and spread COVID-19 vaccine misinformation or disinformation could have their medical license suspended or revoked.
The Board of Directors of the Federation of State Medical Boards stated that because of physicians’ specialized knowledge and training, they possess a high degree of public trust as well as an ethical and professional responsibility to practice medicine in the best interest of their patients.
Because physicians have an ethical obligation to ensure that medical information they provide in a media environment is accurate, medically founded, and based on valid scientific evidence and insight gained from professional experience, the board says physicians should separate their personal and professional content online on social media.
In July, President Joe Biden called out Facebook users who share misinformation regarding the COVID-19 vaccine as “killing people.”
The medical board now says doctors must share information that is factual because spreading misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine will dissolve public trust in the medical profession as well as putting all patients at risk.
“Physicians have an ethical obligation to ensure that medical information they provide in a media environment is accurate, inclusive of known risks and benefits, commensurate with their medical expertise, and based on valid scientific evidence and insight gained from professional experience,” the statement announced.
“We’re not just fighting an epidemic; we’re fighting an infodemic,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) at a gathering of foreign policy and security experts in Munich, Germany, in mid- February, referring to fake news that “spreads faster and more easily than this virus.”
Dr. Nahid Bhadelia, founding director of the Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases at Boston University, told CNBC that she “[thinks] social media is playing a big role in amplifying misinformation, which is leading to people not taking the vaccine, which is killing them,” she said. “It’s the honest truth. Covid, right now, is a vaccine-preventable disease.”
Today, the Mississippi Department of Health is reporting 2,070 more cases of COVID-19 in Mississippi, 85 deaths, and 121 ongoing outbreaks in long-term care facilities. MSDH reports that 1,241,087 Mississippians are now fully vaccinated.
On September 1st, Dr. Dobbs joined Y’all Politics Publisher Alan Lange to discuss a variety of topics, including masks, mask mandates, vaccine hesitancy, and the durability of the vaccine and natural immunity.
Dobbs acknowledges that COVID-19 vaccination numbers and rates have risen with nearly 1.4 million Mississippians with at least one dose.
“Most of the older population is vaccinated, Dobbs said, which is why the state is seeing more hospitalizations with young age groups – 30 and 40 year olds – than before since those younger age groups are less vaccinated,” Dobbs said then.