By Michael Wong, JD (Founder/Executive Director, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety)
Happy Holidays – Keep Safe!
The Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS) wishes you and your family a safe and happy holiday.
As 2021 comes to a close, much in the world seems to not have changed. When the first COVID vaccine was approved by the FDA on December 11, 2020, many people believed (or hoped) that this would signal the beginning of the end of the COVID pandemic.
Sadly, since the start of the COVID pandemic, in the USA, more that 800,000 have died and there have been more than 51 million cases of COVID. Compared to the rest of the world, US deaths and cases far exceed proportionate numbers:
America now makes up 4 percent of the world’s population but accounts for about 20 percent of global deaths. While Australia, Japan and South Korea showed it was possible to keep deaths low, the United States — armed with wealth, scientific prowess and global power — became the world leader: it now has one of the highest concentrations of deaths, with nearly twice as many reported fatalities as any other country.
COVID Misinformation is a Patient Safety Risk
Misinformation about COVID is a patient safety risk:
The information landscape about Covid-19 is bewildering, with factual and fictional claims competing for attention. And most American adults have heard at least a couple of the fictions, according to new data from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Kaiser, which is widely respected for its top-notch work on this subject, tested eight false statements about Covid. Nearly 80% of Americans surveyed said they had heard of at least one of the falsehoods and either believed it or are unsure whether it is true.
“Most commonly,” the report’s authors wrote, “six in ten adults have heard that the government is exaggerating the number of Covid-19 deaths by counting deaths due to other factors as coronavirus deaths and either believe this to be true (38%) or aren’t sure if it’s true or false (22%).”
One-third of respondents “believe or are unsure whether deaths due to the Covid-19 vaccine are being intentionally hidden by the government (35%),” the authors wrote, “and about three in ten each believe or are unsure whether Covid-19 vaccines have been shown to cause infertility (31%) or whether Ivermectin is a safe and effective treatment for COVID-19 (28%).”
Moreover, misinformation about COVID is split along political lines:
Since May 2021, people living in counties that voted heavily for Donald Trump during the last presidential election have been nearly three times as likely to die from COVID-19 as those who live in areas that went for now-President Biden.
COVID is a health issue, not a political issue. Actions by health organizations, scientists and healthcare professionals are driven by science and data. Misinformation is driven by political and business reasons, and therefore represents a critical patient safety issue and should have no place in solving a healthcare issue.
Nearly all COVID Deaths in the United States are Preventable
The title of an article by Nicole Wetsman sums up the COVID pandemic succinctly – “The stakes for fighting misinformation are life and death: Nearly all deaths from COVID-19 in the United States are preventable.”
More than ever, it is imperative that each and every one of us does all each can to keep yourself safe as well as those around you (loved ones, friends, neighbors, community, and even strangers).
I’m wearing a mask and have gotten vaccinated against COVID because I care:
- I care about my family and friends.
- I care about my neighbors, those who I know and don’t know. I care about healthcare providers.
- I care about my community.
- I’m wearing a mask and have gotten vaccinated not to make a political statement.
Are you wearing a mask? Have you been vaccinated? Do you care?