"Healthy You" podcast tackles COVID-19 mis- and disinformation

Date: Mar 31 2022

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Media Relations

The George Washington University’s popular public health podcast is taking aim at COVID-19 disinformation with a four-part series that explores the causes, impacts and solutions of this growing problem. The first episode of “Healthy You: Confronting our Disease of Disinformation,” will be released April 6 in coordination with National Public Health Week.

The new series is part of “Healthy You,” a podcast hosted by the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health and GW School of Media and Public Affairs in partnership with the American Public Health Association and the de Beaumont Foundation. Since mid-2020, the groups have partnered on “Healthy You, Surviving a Pandemic,” a podcast series focused on life during the COVID-19 pandemic.

”Healthy You" is hosted by award-winning journalist Frank Sesno, Director of Strategic Initiatives at the GW School of Media and Public Affairs. Sesno will talk to health and media experts about the impact of deliberate disinformation and how to prepare for a future that includes a new variant of COVID-19 and/or other infectious diseases.

“As we enter the third year of the pandemic, mis- and disinformation continue to instill fear, cause confusion and divide people,” Sesno said. “We felt that it was important to create a series that tackles the harms that come from disinformation and examine how people and organizations that engage in this activity can be held accountable, as well as look for solutions to this crisis.”

Guests on the four-part series include Rebekah Tromble, Director of the GW Institute for Data, Democracy, and Politics; Lynn R. Goldman, Dean of the GW Milken Institute School of Public Health; Georges C. Benjamin, MD, Executive Director of the American Public Health Association and other well-known experts on disinformation.

“Mis- and disinformation are a daily challenge for public health,” Benjamin said. “It has a negative impact on the health of both individuals and the community. It is hard for people to make good decisions that improve or protect their health when bad information is so prevalent. Mis- and disinformation are a significant public health threat that is intentionally designed to undermine the public’s trust in institutions and acceptance of expert advice. Addressing it is now a high priority in order to improve the public‘s health.”

The four-part series will include:

  • Episode I – What is Pandemic Disinformation? This episode will outline the scope of the problem, with examples from social media, traditional media, doctors and politicians
     
  • Episode II – Who’s Responsible? Politicians? Media? Docs? This episode will look at the responsibility born by those who peddle medical misinformation, including politicians, the media and doctors.
     
  • Episode III – What is the Impact of Disinformation? This episode will discuss the consequences of disinformation.
     
  • Episode IV– How do we make it right? Thinking ahead to next time. This episode will ask whether this is the new normal and explore remedies to combat disinformation.

Listen and subscribe to this new series launching April 6 and running through April 27. And find past episodes of the “Healthy You” podcast here.

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The American Public Health Association champions the health of all people and communities. We are the only organization that combines a 150-year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public’s health. Learn more at www.apha.org