A viral list of COVID-19 pandemic advice attributed to British Columbia chief medical officer Dr. Bonnie Henry is not only fake, it’s dangerously inaccurate.
The list, often titled ‘Wisdom From Dr. Bonnie Henry’ contains 16 suggestions allegedly from B.C’s top doctor. But while the list ends with Henry’s signature “be kind, be calm, be safe” message and some points echo advice from her and other health officials, B.C.’s doctor did not author or endorse it.
And many of the points are misleading or scientifically inaccurate.
The list suggests that drinking “gallons of hot water” will “destroy” the virus, which has no scientific backing. Similarly, the list also falsely suggests that a mixture of “vinegar, sugarcane juice and ginger” will build up immunity.
WATCH: Twitter removes accounts spreading COVID-19 misinformation. Story continues below.
Other suggestions on the list are dangerously misleading, such as the advice that “Immunity is increased by EXPOSURE TO PATHOGENS” — something that goes directly against current public health advice to keep social contacts down and avoid situations where the virus could easily spread.
But it’s not the first time this specific set of misinformation has spread online.
A version of the list attributed to University of Maryland chief of infectious diseases Dr. Faheem Younus circulated earlier in the pandemic.
In an early June tweet, Younus discredited the list, pointing out that, while based on some of his posts, it contains false information.
Other, unsigned versions of the list have been circulating on Facebook since April.
The latest versions of the list attributed to Henry started circulating this week, garnering hundreds of shares on Facebook and comments praising the “expert advice.”
Health officials are warning against sharing the list, and encouraging people to seek out and share accurate, fact-checked information.
According to the 2019 CIGI-Ipsos Global Survey, 57 per cent of Canadians reported falling for online misinformation at some point or another.
If you’re looking to share Henry’s actual advice, she says the best and most accurate information to share comes from the B.C. Centre For Disease Control website — that’s a great place to start.
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