Modeling COVID and Assessing the Effects of Misinformation About Epidemics

Eva K. Lee describe the spread of COVID-19, including how public health internationally has been hampered by the spread of misinformation about the epidemic and the value of alternative treatments and vaccines. Many conflicting messages have undermined public health recommendations. These problems have been at least partly consistent with well-documented efforts by Russian propagandists to undermine political and economic processes in western democracies, exploiting how for-profit Internet companies make money by exploiting fundamental defects in how humans think and make decisions.

Widespread confusion and lack of collaboration about public health directives was identified as a major potential threat in a sweeping expert review of public health readiness published in 2019, but the general problem was described a quarter century earlier in a 1994 classic work on pandemic spread.

Eva K Lee is a distinguished professor in the Health System Institute at Georgia Tech and Emory University. She has been a special advisor to Homeland Security and a collaborator with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on defenses against pandemic and biological weapons. She holds a PhD in computational and applied mathematics from Rice.


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