In a new interview with The New Yorker, virologist Peter Hotez identified the far-right as a funder and promoter of anti-vaccine propaganda to the American public — with potentially dangerous consequences as a major vaccine drive to control COVID-19 begins to ramp up.
"Some of it's coming from the health-and-wellness industry selling fake supplements and autism cures, while a lot of it is getting money from far-right-wing political causes," said Hotez. "But it's gotten very powerful now, to the point it really dominates the internet."
One recent report from The Daily Beast supports the idea, suggesting that neo-Nazi groups are hoping that anti-vaccine conspiracy theories are the key to sparking a race war in the United States.
The federal government must implement the solution, argued Hotez — and there are two key steps.
"The first thing they need to do is implement a communications plan. And I know it's going to start with a series of public-service announcements ... I think having government scientists, people whose faces get familiar, is going to make a big difference. That's No. 1," said Hotez. "No. 2, which nobody seems to have the appetite for, is you've got to take down the confederacy, the anti-vaccine empire. You've got to take the content off social media, off Facebook. I mean, Amazon right now is the single largest promoter of fake anti-vaccine books. That's got to stop."
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