Claims like the imminent return of COVID-19 lockdowns and other broad mitigation efforts grew online in the past months, spurred by a rise in cases around the country.
According to the most recent data made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hospital admissions for COVID-19 have begun to decline in the past week, as have emergency department visits.
As experts put it, rumors about the virus are often fueled by deeper-seated concerns over issues like government overreach, The Hill’s Ella Lee and Alex Gangitano report.
Tara Kirk Sell, scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told The Hill that part of addressing misinformation is taking on these concerns that people have.
The Biden administration has recently moved to directly answer questions about COVID-19 that have been made online.
Officials have taken to responding to inaccurate statements on social media while also watching for unapproved products promoted online as treatments against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
“[The Department of Health and Human Services] works to ensure that public health guidance and messaging are based on facts and science and that we are transparent about what we do and don’t know because we know how important it is for people to have accurate, science-based information to protect themselves and their loved ones,” a spokesperson told The Hill.
Even after the end of the national health emergency, COVID-19 continues to be a source of political ammunition, and President Biden is likely to be on the defense on the 2024 campaign trail.
Presidential candidates like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (D) often rage against viral mitigation methods to both hit at the administration and engender support from their bases.