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How Bad Is The COVID-19 Misinformation Epidemic?
But until there are consistent reports about the features of COVID -- more consistent than mere symptomatic reports -- I have no idea how to determine which sources are legitimate and which aren't. Normally the majority of these healthcare organizations tend to agree on things. We now have wildly different claims from different professional and respected organizations. Consequently, how someone is to avoid unintentionally misinforming people? And how can we measure the actual impact of misinformation if there is such confusion among professionals?
I think ive realized at least part of what you were talking about. I was picking up on signs that the WHO was pandering to China maybe as far back as January or February. March, for sure. That they were indeed under China’s thumb was (for me) confirmed in early April when the WHO announced that Taiwan would not be invited to one of their international meetings. At that point i just stopped looking at anything they said. To be honest, i kinda forgot they even existed as i was writing that post. That was a mistake on my part. I see and acknowledge the point you were raising.
If you cant breath then none of us can.
1. The WHO seemed not officially to endorse any first hand accounts via social media, and albeit cautiously, just promulgated reports coming from the Chinese authorities. The WHO also, more widely, seemed not to deal with speculation - so when things like asymptomatic transmission was first observed in South Korea and Japan it largely went unnoticed.... until China started agreeing with it. Which is why some folk are talking about if China was telling everyone else the truth as to what they themselves accepted and reported on it. So the WHO overall seemed to be a few weeks behind what seemed at the time, and turned out to be actually, happening.
2. The CDC seemed to sit somewhere between the White House and the WHO on what was happening. So the CDC overall seemed to be over a month behind what seemed at the time, and turned out to be actually, happening.
3. There are a few attributes of a virus which make it ideal for a biological weapon, getting the balance just right makes it more effective at well.... killing. This virus started ticking those boxes rather early and so I was surprised at how slow the CDC in particular was to really push a preventative early hard reaction just to be safe. They would know more then anyone that when a virus breaks out and its growing exponentially, that the first few weeks are vital in determining the shape of the curve. When China finally acknowledged to itself it was going to break out in Wuhan they moved really fast to lock that place down... like Zombie apocolypse levels response; bull dozing off roads in and out, banning private vehicles from the roads, restricting people to indoors for anything other then resupplies, all transport halted etc etc. They seemed to know how bad it was going to get, and they were right. That should have been (and probably was) a wake up call to authorities in countries with a clue on this stuff.
In short, don't believe only one source, and don't fully believe any source. Use the tools at hand to develop an opinion, and make it as informed as possible. The trick after all is not just being another opinionated mouthpiece for the superficial, it should be to be ahead of the information curve.... to be useful in helping when/if things speed up and get worse.
And of course remember its ok to be wrong, the goal is accuracy but no-one can know everything.