A great discussion on the History of Health Misinformation can be found at “Coronavirus and the Black Death: spread of misinformation and xenophobia shows we haven’t learned from our past.”
The history of Health Misinformation has more recent evidence in the form of the misinformation about Aids, in the 80s, 90s, and 2000s – “HIV misinformation” – from Coronavirus: Fake news is spreading fast.
Health Misinformation creates an opportunity to make any crisis worse and increases the chances of individual risky behavior.
Another example. It was reported that a province in Iran found that more people had died from drinking industrial-strength alcohol, based on a false claim that it could protect you from Covid-19, than from the virus itself.
A report by YouGov and the Economist in March 2020 found 13% of Americans believed the Covid-19 crisis was a hoax, for example, while a whopping 49% believed the epidemic might be man-made. And while you might hope that greater brainpower or education would help us to tell fact from fiction, it is easy to find examples of many educated people falling for this false information.
Another example of Health Misinformation comes from a Kelly Brogan, a prominent Covid-19 conspiracy theorist.
Here are some examples of World Leaders spreading inaccurate information about the risk of the outbreak and promoting unproven remedies that may do more harm than good.