June 12, 2020 – Ottawa, ON – Public Health Agency of Canada
In lieu of a daily in-person update to the media, Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, issued the following statement today:
“As of the end of the day on Thursday, June 11, there were 97,530 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 7,994 deaths and 57,658 or 59% now recovered. Labs across Canada have tested 2,028,496 people for COVID-19 to date. Over the past week, we have been testing an average of 33,000 people daily, with 2% of these testing positive. These numbers change quickly and are now being updated once daily in the evenings on Canada.ca/coronavirus.
Today, I would like to talk about misinformation − the unintentional sharing of false or misleading information. There is no place for misinformation on any day, least so during a crisis on the scale of COVID-19. It detracts from progress and solutions and results in real harm. At times during COVID-19, we have been dealing with two epidemics: the disease, and misinformation about the disease.
Although well-intentioned people typically share misinformation that they believe to be true, the source can often be traced back to a deliberate fabrication.
Misleading people by deliberately spreading false information is called disinformation. Sources of disinformation can range from “robots” or “bots” that are set up to blast out mass communications, or they may be actual people who share false information for political, money generating or other less-than-admirable reasons.