Flanked by Mayo Clinic doctors Andrew Badley and Melanie Swift, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar appeared in Rochester today to declare war on the deliberate campaigns of misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccines sweeping social media platforms. During her afternoon news conference, Minnesota's senior Senator pointed out the danger inherent in the lies.
"If every night people go home and see a bunch of lies on the internet, they start believing it," the Senator said emphatically. "I know that because I was just in the middle of the capitol when a bunch of people believed a bunch of stuff they saw online and invaded the Capitol."
Klobuchar says the mega-companies running social media platforms need to be responsible.
"At some point, these companies have some responsibility here," she said. "They have made a lot of money off of us and our data … It's not censorship, they're businesses and they have to protect us from bad information. Your TV station cannot allow fake information. The newspapers have rules that govern them. They can't pretend it's anything goes. We have seen what happens with false information about elections. You can just look at the broken windows and glass at the Capitol."
Klobuchar sounded an optimistic theme, though. She is encouraged by the fact that roughly 16 percent of Minnesota residents have been vaccinated. For his part, Dr. Andrew Badley believes the vaccines have the potential to protect for a long time.
"We anticipate that we will have immunity against the Sars-Cov-2 virus for months to years," the doctor said after this reporter asked him how long the vaccines last. "We just haven't been able to study it long enough to know if that's the case."
Senator Klobuchar has introduced a measure billed as "The Covid-19 Disinformation Task Force Act," that would allow Homeland Security to coordinate the Federal analysis of false vaccine information.