SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KGET) — California lawmakers need to crack down on COVID-19 vaccine misinformation rolling out two new payments Tuesday.
“Misinformation is undermining our means to not solely cease this pandemic, however frankly, save lives,” mentioned State Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento.
The primary laws is Meeting Invoice 2098 which empowers the California Medical Board to self-discipline docs who peddle disinformation. The invoice permits the board to categorise the conduct as unprofessional conduct.
“Inaccurate COVID-19 data contradicts the accountability and threatens to additional erode the general public belief within the medical career and places all sufferers in danger,” defined Meeting Member Evan Low, D-San Jose.
Docs in assist of the invoice mentioned there’s a very small variety of well-coordinated, well-funded, lively group of physicians spreading blatantly false details about the virus and its vaccine.
“This isn’t a name for policing of free speech, this can be a name for shielding the general public towards harmful misinformation which sufferers are parroting again to us in our emergency departments daily,” mentioned emergency doctor Nick Sawyer.
The second invoice takes intention at social media websites. Senate Invoice 1018 would require web sites to be extra clear about how their algorithms push data to their customers.
“Backside line right here is we can’t reside in a world the place Fb and Google know all the things about us and we all know nothing about them,” mentioned Professor Nathaniel Persily of the Cyber Coverage Heart at Stanford College.
The legislation, if handed, would additionally require websites to share information, displaying how misinformation spreads. Congress is contemplating comparable laws.
“We additionally have to act as a state, ideally we’d have a nationwide answer to this, nonetheless, we can’t wait,” Pan mentioned.
The payments add to the majority of laws launched this yr by a bunch of Democrats working to strengthen California’s vaccine legal guidelines for employees and youngsters.
Each payments will probably be heard someday within the spring.