AMA: COVID-19 disinformation spread by some health care professionals remains an issue

The AMA continues its fight against COVID-19 disinformation generated by physicians with a new policy.

Physician, resident, and medical student members of the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates have haven taken a stand against COVID-19 disinformation by adopting a new policy that will address falsehoods about the coronavirus.

This decision comes in response to a small but dangerous number of physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals who continue to spread lies about COVID-19. Their remarks include the endorsement of unproven treatments and defiance against safety protocols such as vaccines and mask mandates.

“Physicians are among the most trusted source of information and advice for patients and the public at large, which is why it’s so dangerous when a physician or other health care professional spreads disinformation,” said AMA Board Member Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH, in a press release.

The new policy will have the AMA collaborate with both relevant healthcare societies and stakeholders to address this dishonesty undermining healthcare. In addition, the AMA plans do conduct research on this disinformation, its impact on public health, and further ways to eliminate it.

This policy is one of many efforts spearheaded by the AMA. In addition, the association also wrote to the chief executive officers of leading technology companies in December 2020, urging them not to promote false information on their sites.

“While disinformation has run rampant during the COVID-19 pandemic, we know unscientific claims are being made about other health conditions and other public health initiatives are being undermined,” Ehrenfeld said. “We are committed to doing everything we can to stop the spread of disinformation and providing accurate, evidence-based information—the lives of our patients and the public depend on it.”

This article was initially published by our sister publication Medical Economics.