The reminder, from the executive director of the health emergencies program, came in response to Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter. Meanwhile, a study links exposure to online misinformation to problems of vaccine hesitancy and refusal early in the pandemic.
Elon Musk Buying Twitter Prompts WHO Warning On Covid Misinformation
As billionaire Elon Musk nears a potential deal to buy Twitter Inc., a World Health Organization official warned of the dangers of health and vaccine misinformation on social media. Misinformation costs lives, Mike Ryan, executive director of the health emergencies program at the WHO, said Tuesday in response to a reporter’s question regarding the offer from Musk, a self-described free-speech absolutist, to buy Twitter for about $44 billion. (Hoffman and Hernanz Lizarraga, 4/26)
In other news about vaccine misinformation —
Online Misinformation Is Linked To Early COVID-19 Vaccination Hesitancy And Refusal
Leveraging data from Twitter, Facebook, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we investigate how online misinformation is associated with vaccination rates and levels of vaccine hesitancy across the U.S. (Pierri et al, 4/26)
Indiana Daily Student:
IU Researchers Find Link Between COVID-19 Misinformation, Vaccine Hesitancy
Online misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines is associated with low vaccination rates in parts of the U.S., according to a paper published April 26 by IU’s Observatory on Social Media researchers and the Polytechnic University of Milan in Italy. (Meador, 4/26)
In updates on vaccine and mask mandates —
Philadelphia COVID Vaccine Mandate For City Workers Set For May 31
Mayor Jim Kenney’s long-delayed policy requiring unionized city workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 is now set to take effect May 31. But it could be delayed again because the city has not yet reached an agreement over the policy with the Philadelphia firefighters union. Kenney announced the vaccine requirement in November, and it was initially supposed to take effect Jan. 14. But the administration has struggled to quickly reach agreements over its implementation with the four major municipal unions, which represent about 24,000 city workers. (Collins Walsh, 4/26)
WA Seafood Processing Plant Fined $56K Following COVID Death
A seafood processing plant has been fined $56,000 in connection with a 2021 COVID outbreak that left one employee dead. The Department of Labor and Industries announced the fine against Shining Ocean Inc. on Monday, Northwest News Network reported. According to the agency, a 65-year old employee of the Sumner company died after contracting COVID at a company staff meeting on November 4, 2021. During the meeting, the investigation found most of the 23 people in attendance did not wear masks. Sixteen workers contracted COVID, including the man who later died. (4/26)
The Washington Post:
Disability Community Pushes To Keep Masks Aboard Transit
The D.C. region’s disability community is urging Metro to recommend mask usage aboard buses and trains and at stations, after the transit agency — and others across the country — made face coverings optional following a court ruling that voided a federal mask mandate for public transportation. Metro’s Accessibility Advisory Committee passed a motion to be presented to Metro’s board on Thursday urging the transit agency to continue following recommendations by health experts on masking. They cite concerns about virus spread among vulnerable passengers, particularly seniors and people with disabilities. (Lazo, 4/26)
The Washington Post:
People’s Convoy Truckers Egged By Bay Area Youths, Residents
Eggs. Many, many eggs. That is what greeted a trucker convoy protesting outside the home of a Democratic state lawmaker in Oakland, Calif., last week. It turns out that residents of the East Bay neighborhood, including the younger ones, were not happy with the hulking rigs disrupting their lives. (Bella, 4/26)
Bay Area News Group:
COVID: How Effective Is Air-Filtration On BART, Bay Area Transit?
It seems that every Bay Area transit rider has a story of hopping on BART or Caltrain only to be hit by a wave of unpleasant smells. So with mask mandates on the outs, many passengers may be wondering: If BART can’t filter out the mystery scent from a few seats away, how can the system keep me safe from an unmasked passenger emitting the COVID-19 virus? There is some good news, experts say. Your BART car might smell, but the air-filtration systems that reduce COVID-19 transmission are stronger than what’s typically at work in your home, office or the restaurant where you just had lunch. (Kamisher, 4/26)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.