Smallpox and polio would still be spreading in the US if “false information” about vaccines was as prevalent as it is now, Dr. Anthony Fauci has claimed.
Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said on Saturday that he believes similar lies may have undermined both successful vaccine drives decades ago.
“If we had the kind of false information that is being spread now, if we had that decades ago, I would be sure we would still have polio in this country,” Fauci Told anchor Jim Acosta on “LOVEBYLIFE Newsroom.”
Fauci said that similar misinformation could have prevented the end of smallpox in America.
“If you look at the extraordinary historical success in eradicating smallpox and eradicating polio from much of the world, and we are on the verge of eradicating polio, if we had pushback for vaccines the way we are seeing on some media. So, I don’t think it would have been possible to not just eradicate smallpox,” Fauci said.
US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy on Sunday criticized the anti-vaccine information spreading on social media sites, saying it would have fatal consequences.
“I’ve seen patients deal with health misinformation over the years as a doctor. And here’s the important thing to remember: health misinformation can destroy our freedom and power to make decisions for us and our families. snatches away,” said Murthy LOVEBYLIFE’s “State of the Union.”
“And that is a problem, and these platforms have to recognize that they have played a major role in increasing the speed and scale with which misinformation is spreading.”