Science Denial and Disinformation Work
Companies and political operatives deploy disinformation because it's effective, hard to track, is almost never punished, and takes years to reverse.
9 minute read
Almost four years out from the beginning of the COVID pandemic, most Americans realize they were given bad information, causing the public’s trust in science to erode during COVID. Despite prodding from the federal government, barely 20% have gotten the COVID booster, with many Americans voicing concerns about side effects and low efficacy. Research persists in demonstrating that lockdowns were harmful, and documents continue to accumulate that find Anthony Fauci and other virologists conspired to lie to the public about the possibility that dangerous virology research in Wuhan, China, started the pandemic.
So why has nothing happened to the people who put those pandemic policies in place?
First, humans have a poor ability to separate scientific fact from fiction, especially when governments and corporations spin narratives to confuse and appease a skeptical public. We know this only too well from the history of modern propaganda. Once false stories have been created and disseminated to the public, they're hard to get rid of, and the behind-the-scenes machinations that created them is seldom exposed.
I know this because I've spent my career uncovering these tactics and have seen first-hand how long it takes for the truth to spread versus how quickly disinformation alters reality. In 2005, for example, I found that DuPont was working to cover-up the harm of a dangerous chemical, but it took more than a decade until most people learned about this in a Hollywood movie. In another instance, I discovered that a tobacco lawyer helped dismiss public concerns about secondhand smoke by secretly helping to publish a study in a prestigious science journal. And that study has never been retracted.
Government and corporate operatives deploy scientific disinformation because it works. And they get away with it.
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