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Assemblymember Akilah Weber Introduces HR 74, Declaring COVID-19 Health Misinformation a Public Health Crisis

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO, CA — Today, Assemblymember Akilah Weber (D-San Diego) introduced HR 74, a resolution that speaks to the importance of curbing the dissemination of public health misinformation and the threat that it poses to our society. The California State Assembly successfully adopted this resolution today, declaring COVID-19 health misinformation as a public health crisis.

“While health misinformation has always been a problem, advances in digital communication technology now allow it to spread at an unprecedented speed,” said Assemblymember Weber. In the midst of a global pandemic, misinformation has caused rampant confusion and mistrust that undermine public health efforts.”

With over four million cases and over 65,000 confirmed deaths in the State of California, the threat posed by the spread of COVID-19 health misinformation has prolonged the pandemic and endangered the health and safety of all Californians. The spread of this misinformation has become so prevalent that the United States Surgeon General issued official guidance on the matter. This week, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors passed the first local government resolution in the nation, declaring COVID-19 health misinformation as a public health crisis.

“I believe that better coordination between the medical community, government entities, and the mass media is necessary to curb the spread of misinformation through different channels and limit the dissemination of fake news, thereby providing the public with accurate, fact-based information,” continued Assemblymember Weber.

“HR 74 is a small, but important, step towards the recognition that the spread of health misinformation is a public health crisis, and urges the State of California to commit to combating the spread of falsehoods that threaten the health and safety of all Californians.”