“I think social media plays a big role in amplifying misinformation, which causes people to skip the vaccine, which kills them,” Bhadelia said. “It’s the honest truth. Covid, at this time, is a vaccine-preventable disease. “
Bhadelia cited the results of the Kaiser Family Fund survey which found that 54% of Americans believe or cannot distinguish whether a common Covid vaccine myth is fact or fiction.
The United States is grappling with a lagging vaccination rate and an increase in infections. All 50 states have reported an increase in Covid cases over the past week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The United States averages over 26,000 new cases a day, and that’s the highest number in two months, according to Johns Hopkins.
Bhadelia told CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith” that she believes social media companies can do a lot more to stop the spread of disinformation.
“They have to invest a lot more resources and improve their balance between removing this information faster, investing more resources in modifying their matrix, because right now what’s at the top of your page isn’t what’s correct is what’s popular, ”said Bhadelia, an NBC News medical collaborator.
Facebook has spoken out against the White House’s claims.
“We will not be distracted by accusations that are not supported by the facts,” a spokesperson said. “The point is, over 2 billion people have viewed authoritative information about COVID-19 and vaccines on Facebook, which is more than any other place on the internet. More than 3.3 million Americans have also used our vaccine finder to find out where and how to get vaccinated. The facts show that Facebook is helping to save lives. Period. “