San Diego

San Diego County supervisors to vote on COVID misinformation resolution

Prior to the general public remark interval, representatives from San Diego-area hospitals spoke out in assist of the measure, saying resources are being stretched skinny.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — The San Diego County Board of Supervisors is slated to determine Tuesday whether or not to undertake what’s believed to be a first-in-the-nation coverage of declaring COVID-19 misinformation a public well being disaster and undertake a collection of suggestions to actively fight it.

“Health misinformation about COVID-19 is causing people to die and contributing significantly to our struggles with the Delta variant,” mentioned board Chair Nathan Fletcher, who drafted the resolution.

“The reality that disinformation is leading people to use a medicine for horses, instead of the safe and FDA-approved vaccine, is unbelievable,” he mentioned in a press release launched Monday. “I feel bad for those who fall victim to misinformation. It’s ridiculous the amount of misinformation that is out there, and I want San Diego County to help stop it from spreading.”

Fletcher was referring to ivermectin, an anti-parasite typically used to deal with animals. The drug has additionally been accredited by the Food and Drug Administration to deal with sure circumstances in people, however not COVID-19.

Watch the County Board of Supervisors meeting reside:

The company has reported that some individuals making an attempt to deal with themselves for the coronavirus have required hospitalization after self-medicating with ivermectin meant for horses.

Fletcher mentioned he “fully support(s) the First Amendment, and people’s right to say and believe what they want, but we also have the right and responsibility to call out things that are objectively false. The pervasiveness of health misinformation was on full display at our Board of Supervisors meeting a couple of weeks ago, and we have an obligation to make sure we are defending the science and pushing back on the non-science.”

Along with the declaration, Fletcher developed a collection of suggestions to actively fight well being misinformation, which embody:

— devoting resources to establish and label well being misinformation and disseminate right data;

— modernizing the county’s public well being communications to higher perceive gaps on this data;

— increasing analysis efforts to higher outline and perceive the sources of well being misinformation, doc and hint its prices and adverse impacts, and develop methods to tackle and counter it;

— investing in resilience towards well being misinformation, together with digital resources and coaching for well being practitioners and well being staff; and

— working with the medical group and native companions to develop an internet site that may function a central useful resource for combating well being misinformation.

During the meeting, which drew public feedback from lots of of individuals, Fletcher addressed these in opposition of the measure, saying “Nothing in this measure will take away anyone’s right to free speech. But this will empower medical experts to lend their knowledge to provide people with info about what they may be hearing. Our efforts today are to help us in the cause to get beyond COVID-19. I can promise you that no one ever ran for public office saying, `I want to close businesses, I want to wear masks.’ We want to get out of this pandemic without any closures or further mandates.”

Prior to the general public remark interval, representatives from San Diego- space hospitals spoke out in assist of the measure, saying that hospital resources are being stretched skinny by a surge of COVID-19 instances in unvaccinated individuals.

“Misinformation is a poison to our communities,” mentioned Amber Ter- Vrugt, Scripps Health senior director of presidency relations.

Ter-Vrugt mentioned Scripps has skilled workers shortages and that some sufferers have delayed crucial well being care wants due to the newest rise in instances.

“Even some patients admitted continue to push back against recommendations. We have the responsibility to address this misinformation,” she mentioned.

Sharp HealthCare Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Brett McClain mentioned, “We need to promote the facts, and the facts are that this current surge is a surge of the unvaccinated.”

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