Fake news creates serious issues for battling pandemic, chief public health doc says


OTTAWA — Canada’s chief public health doctor says in the age of social media, fake news about the COVID-19 pandemic has been spreading faster than the virus itself.

Dr. Theresa Tam says all Canadians must play a role in not letting false facts destroy the collective effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

That means they should not share information online that they have not verified as accurate.

There have been a number of false claims being spread about the Canadian pandemic effort in recent days, including one accusing the government of establishing COVID “confinement camps” and another alleging the government was planning to eliminate all personal debts, including mortgages and personal loans.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says there are people trying to undermine credible sources on the pandemic and create chaos in democracies.

He says Canadians should look for multiple sources on information they read online, and should verify public health advice given on official websites for public health agencies.