There are a couple of stories in the press this past week about the disturbing affects of disinformation of COVID-19. This post wants to use those stories to explain the problem of disinformation. The United States is dealing with some forms of information or psychological warfare. If you are on the front lines of COVID-19 this blog respects and supports you.
“I have said that propaganda, misinformation, and disinformation have always been part of political warfare. Social media and other new platforms have given it a new life and reach through which the fake news phenomenon can reach everywhere.”
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari
This blog has written quite heavily on how some evangelicals are reacting to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now to be fair this blog wants to point out that there are some who are following the guidelines, wearing face masks and know the seriousness of the situation. There are many churches that are doing the right thing. And yet there are many that do not which appear to be on the Baptist side, Calvary Chapel or Pentecostal side.
The other day I saw two articles and Twitter threads that stunned me. Turns out there are some people who watch conservative or alternative media who believe that COVID-19 is not bad, and that its just the flu. And yet some of these people are contracting the disease and dying while in anger, and denial. Watch the clips below.
South Dakota Nurse on How Patients are Dying of COVID-19 While in Denial and Angry
Jodi Doering is a nurse in South Dakota who did a Twitter thread that caught attention on Twitter about COVID-19 in South Dakota. It put this nurse on the map in talking about the pandemic in her state. Read what she wrote below.
In addition this has been written about by several publications. Check out the following articles.
- London Daily Mail, “South Dakota ER nurse says some COVID-19 patients insist the virus isn’t real even as they’re dying from it, spending their final breaths ‘filled with anger and hatred’ rather than saying goodbye to their families.”
- Yahoo News, “South Dakota ER nurse recalls how dying coronavirus patients spend last minutes insisting virus isn’t real.”
- HuffPost, “South Dakota Nurse: Dying COVID-19 Patients ‘Still Don’t Believe The Virus Is Real’“
- USA Today, “‘It’s not real’: In South Dakota, which has shunned masks and other COVID rules, some people die in denial, nurse says.”
A Nurse in El Paso, Texas Who Resigns After Dealing with a Lot of Misinformation
A COVID nurse in El Paso, Texas resigned after expressing hwo frustrated she was in dealing with disinformation. She detailed a conversation with a COVID patient who called the disease, “fake news.” Read below the Twitter thread and also check out this Newsweek article in, “Nurse’s Emotional Encounter With COVID-Skeptic Patient Who Later Admitted ‘I Was Mistaken’ Goes Viral.”
Information/Psychological Warfare is Harming People in the United States
When I read stories like the ones above I ask myself, how is this happening? In a fatal pandemic how are people attacking masks, or dismissing the danger of COVID-19? This is the answer I have arrived at. I think some parts of the media and alternative media are engaging information or psychological warfare against parts of the United States population. They are cranking out such a volume of disinformation its became censorship through noise. What do I mean by that? I think some organizations are cranking out so much disinformation and alternative facts that it leads to some people giving up. Or that the factual information is suppressed and censored by disinformation, which can be believed. In writing this blog I have noticed disinformation accelerate over the past few years. The internet has turned much darker as a result. Information warfare is what foreign militaries or the intelligence community has done. A classic example I am thinking of comes from my study of 20th century history. It is the information or psychological warfare campaign the CIA conducted in Guatemala in 1954 that led to the removal of the Arbenz government. If you want to read more about it you can do so here and here.
A Note to Medical Workers on the Front Lines of the COPVID-19 Pandemic
This blog wants to thank you. This blog understands the challenges of what you are going through. I grew up in a medical family. It was a family that took medicine and science seriously. It has rubbed off on me and I take those topics seriously as well. For those working in the ER’s and ICU’s across the United States. This blog wants to say thank you. Thanks for your selfless work and my hope is that you can hang on until we have a method to deal with the pandemic. I am confident and encouraged that things will improve. When the pandemic is over if there are any medical workers who pass through the D.C. area hit me up and I will buy you a coffee as a way to say thanks. Stand strong and know that you are loved and respected.