WHO warns of health misinformation risks from social media

The recall, from the executive director of the health emergencies program, came in response to Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter. Meanwhile, a study links exposure to online misinformation to issues of vaccine hesitancy and refusal early in the pandemic.

Bloomberg: Elon Musk buying Twitter urges WHO to warn against Covid misinformation

As billionaire Elon Musk nears a potential deal to buy Twitter Inc., a World Health Organization official has warned of the dangers of health and vaccine misinformation on social media . Misinformation costs lives, Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s health emergencies program, said on Tuesday in response to a reporter’s question about the offer by Musk, a self-proclaimed free speech absolutist, to buy Twitter for about $44 billion. (Hoffman and Hernanz Lizarraga, 04/26)

In other vaccine misinformation news –

Nature: Online misinformation is linked to early hesitancy and refusal of COVID-19 vaccination

Leveraging data from Twitter, Facebook, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we investigate how online misinformation is associated with vaccination rates and levels of vaccine hesitancy in the United States (Pierri et al , 4/26)

Indiana Daily Student: IU researchers find link between COVID-19 misinformation and vaccine hesitancy

Online misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines is associated with low vaccination rates in parts of the United States, according to an article published April 26 by researchers at IU’s Social Media Observatory and the Polytechnic University of Milan in Italy. (Meador, 04/26)

In updates on vaccine and mask mandates —

Philadelphia Inquirer: Philadelphia’s COVID vaccination mandate for city workers set for May 31

Mayor Jim Kenney’s long-delayed policy requiring unionized city workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 is now set to go into effect on May 31. But it could be delayed again because the city has yet to reach an agreement on the policy with the Philadelphia firefighters union. . Kenney announced the vaccine requirement in November, and it was originally scheduled to go into effect on January 14. But the administration has struggled to quickly reach agreements on its implementation with the city’s four main unions, which represent about 24,000 city workers. (Collins Walsh, 4/26)

AP: WA seafood processing plant fined $56,000 over COVID death

A seafood processing plant has been fined $56,000 in connection with a 2021 COVID outbreak that killed an employee. The Department of Labor and Industries announced the fine against Shining Ocean Inc. on Monday, Northwest News Network reported. According to the agency, a 65-year-old Sumner Company employee died after contracting COVID during a company staff meeting on November 4, 2021. During the meeting, the inquest found that the most of the 23 people present were not wearing masks. Sixteen workers contracted COVID, including the man who later died. (4/26)

The Washington Post: Disability community pushes to keep masks on public transit

The DC-area disability community is urging Metro to recommend the use of masks on buses and trains and at stations, after the transit agency — and others across the country — made face coverings optional following a court ruling that overturned a federal mask mandate for public transportation. Metro’s Accessibility Advisory Committee on Thursday passed a motion to present to Metro’s board of directors urging the transit agency to continue to follow health experts’ recommendations on masking. They cite concerns about the spread of the virus among vulnerable passengers, especially the elderly and people with disabilities. (Lazo, 04/26)

The Washington Post: People’s Convoy truckers cheered on by youth and Bay Area residents

Eggs. Many, many eggs. That’s what greeted a convoy of truckers protesting outside the home of a Democratic lawmaker in Oakland, Calif., last week. It turns out that the residents of the East Bay neighborhood, including the younger ones, weren’t happy with the huge rigs disrupting their lives. (Bella, 4/26)

As well –

Bay Area News Group: COVID: How effective is air filtration on the BART, Bay Area Transit?

It seems every Bay Area transit rider has a story of hopping on BART or Caltrain only to be hit with a wave of nasty smells. So with mask mandates on exits, many passengers may be wondering: if BART can’t filter out the mysterious smell from a few seats, how can the system protect me from an unmasked passenger emitting the COVID virus? -19? There is good news, say the experts. Your BART car may smell, but the air filtration systems that reduce the transmission of COVID-19 are more powerful than what’s typically at work in your home, office, or the restaurant where you just had lunch. (Kamischer, 04/26)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news outlets. Sign up for an email subscription.