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Internists Concerned About COVID-19 Misinformation
Statement attributable to:
George M. Abraham, MD, FACP, FIDSA
President, American College of Physicians
PHILADELPHIA, PA September 9, 2021 – The American College of Physicians (ACP), representing 161,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students, is concerned about the spread of misinformation about the COVID-19 virus, vaccination and treatments, and its detrimental impact on public health. ACP strongly supports the use of science and scientific expertise, based on the best available evidence, in the fight against COVID-19. The spread of inaccurate and incorrect information about COVID-19 hinders our ability to mitigate the spread of the virus and combat the global public health crisis.
While ethical and responsible discussions of evidence and science to inform patient care and scientific and public policy are necessary and appropriate, clinicians—including physicians—must not contribute to spreading misinformation that can be harmful to patients. Physicians have an ethical obligation to put patient care and best interests above self-interest, and to provide patients and the public with accurate information about health care. We agree with the U.S. Surgeon General that health misinformation is a serious threat to public health. Contributing to the spread of misinformation that is not factual or based on the best available evidence puts the health of patients, families and communities at risk and thwarts the efforts of all physicians, health care workers, researchers, and others who are working tirelessly to fight COVID-19.
ACP calls on physicians, other health care professionals and patients to get vaccinated against COVID-19. We also urge the continued use of masks as part of a comprehensive public health strategy to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and slow infection rates.
About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 161,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Contact: Jacquelyn Blaser, (202) 261-4572, firstname.lastname@example.org