The Threat of Misinformation to Public Health

Doug Samuelson and Eva Lee discuss “The threat of misinformation to public health” and what might be done to counter this problem.

Much communication and control have become increasingly driven by images, memes and social media messaging rather than honest research and public policy. This has opened the way for misinformation campaigns that affect economics, policy, and public health. We review the recent updates by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a well-known and respected Washington, DC think tank.  This includes Russian economic information warfare, religious messaging and political campaigns.  Samuelson and Lee discuss the use of confusing and disruptive content. They also note that the ways in which the US response to the COVID-19 pandemic diverged from the recommendations of health policy experts, as developed by the Scowcroft Institute at Texas A&M University in 2019. They offer some recommendations for robust and resilient information handling in public health.

Doug Samuelson is President and Chief Scientist at InfoLogix, Inc., in Annandale, Virginia. He has been a Federal policy analyst, consultant, successful high-tech entrepreneur and executive, patented inventor, political campaign professional, and an adjunct and research faculty member at several universities. His consulting and research focus on risk-advised decision-making, machine learning, cybersecurity, wargaming, health care policy, and disaster response and preparedness. He holds a doctorate in Operations Research from The George Washington University.

Eva K. Lee has a doctorate in applied math and medical training in oncology.  She has specialized in large-scale networks and epidemiological modeling.  She is the Director for the Whitaker-NSF Center for Operations Research in Medicine and Healthcare and Chief Scientist at the Data and Analytics Innovation Institute. She is a subject matter expert on medical and public health information sharing enterprises, and has been a leading advisor for Homeland Security and other major US federal governmental agencies. 

KEYWORDS: Information security, information tampering, pattern analysis, political tricks, economic meddling, public health, social media messaging.


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Copyright 2023 Doug Samuelson, Eva K. Lee, Spencer Graves Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.

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