• AAFP Praises U.S. Surgeon General's Advisory to Curb Misinformation About COVID-19

    Monday, August 16, 2021

    Statement attributable to:
    Ada D. Stewart, MD
    American Academy of Family Physicians

    “The American Academy of Family Physicians applauds a new advisory from the U.S. Surgeon General urging all Americans to do their part to combat health misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Misinformation about COVID-19 is prevalent and seriously jeopardizes the health of the public. While medical experts are still learning about the virus and the variants, it is important to emphasize that recommendations will and should change as more is learned about the disease. However, the spread of patently false information can undermine safety, put communities at risk, and potentially cause patients to forgo treatment, rather than follow the guidance of trusted scientists and medical experts.

    “Health care professionals—including family physicians who are embedded in patients’ communities—should talk with people to ensure the information they receive comes from credible sources, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, or local and state public health officials. Additionally, the AAFP provides the health care community with resources on how physicians can support their practices and patients with the latest information on COVID-19, and general health and wellness.

    “With constant updates, it can be easy for incorrect facts and misinformation to spread. However, as hospitalizations and cases increase with the surge of the Delta variant, the AAFP calls for more efforts from our nation’s leaders to curb the spread of misinformation. It’s more important than ever to ensure the public is receiving accurate information about the virus and how to effectively mitigate the spread. The health of our nation depends on it.”  

    Editor's Note: To arrange an interview with Dr. Stewart, contact Julie Hirschhorn, 202-655-4949, or jhirschhorn@aafp.org.


    About American Academy of Family Physicians
    Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 130,000 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the largest medical society devoted solely to primary care. Family physicians conduct approximately one in five office visits — that’s 192 million visits annually or 48 percent more than the next most visited medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care. To learn more about the specialty of family medicine and the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, visit www.aafp.org. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s consumer website, www.familydoctor.org.