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How science can fight disinformation in the next crisis – Source

As the world spiraled towards calamity with the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak, the essential role of virologists, infectious disease specialists, epidemiologists, and other scientists was thrust into the spotlight. Not only were these public health experts tasked with interpreting the rapidly evolving scientific and medical data, but they were often moved from the bench to the microphone and into the 24-hour media cycle. The public was looking for answers—but where would they derive them? This is where the scientific community became so important, with the distinct ability to assess the evidence through an expert lens and deliver unbiased viewpoints on the implications.

The first task facing the scientific community was how to communicate about the virus itself—what it was, what it wasn’t, how it could be transmitted, and the true risks involved. Comparisons to other viral pathogens immediately emerged, particularly the common cold and seasonal influenza. Though these comparisons were…

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