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InnovationRx: Big Tech And Vaccine Misinfo; Plus, Who’s Quitting Over Covid-19 Mandates?

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Big Tech’s piecemeal response to dealing with the spread of medical-related misinformation continued today with YouTube becoming the latest company to ban “harmful vaccine content” of any kind from videos posted on the site — not just those related to Covid-19. “We’ve steadily seen false claims about the coronavirus vaccines spill over into misinformation about vaccines in general,” the company said in a statement. The move comes two months after the Biden administration specifically pointed the finger at technology companies and issued a “misinformation advisory.” 

The YouTube ban extends to several members of the Disinformation Dozen, a label given by the Center for Countering Digital Hate to the most prominent vectors of vaccine untruths, Forbes’ Graison Dangor reports. That includes the channel for the Children’s Health Defense Fund, the board of which is chaired by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. who, long before the Covid-19 pandemic, peddled the claim that vaccines cause autism. When asked why YouTube didn’t act sooner, a company executive told The Washington Post “developing robust policies takes time.”

Maye Musk—Elon’s Mom—Plugs $100 Anti-Aging Supplement

Maye Musk has a lot of energy, as she tells it, and wants to live to age 98—at the very least. She’s the new spokesperson for Timeline Nutrition, which sells powder and pills that claim to contain anti-aging properties. The company claims the compound “revitalizes mitochondria” (the cellular workhorses that convert food into energy in humans) but the evidence to back this claim is still preliminary. Asked if she feels a difference from her five-month regimen taking Mitopure, the brand name for Timeline’s supplement, Musk says, “I haven’t noticed,” adding, “It’s happening in the cell.” Read more here.


Noteworthy

Air pollution could potentially be a leading driver of premature births and low birthweight around the world, according to new research.

A body building doctor who traded opioids for spinal injections was convicted in a $100 million fraud. 

DEA warns of alarming spike in fake prescription pills laced with fentanyl and meth. 

Coronavirus Updates

More and more employers are now mandating Covid-19 vaccinations, as patience with people who remain unvaccinated is wearing thin. LinkedIn provided data to Forbes showing job postings requiring Covid-19 vaccination have jumped 20x since the FDA full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech shot in August. The NBA has also instituted a new penalty — unvaccinated players who miss games due to local vaccine mandates will not be paid, according to The Athletic


An Infectious Disease Doctor Explains Why Some Of His Colleagues Are Quitting In The Face Of Vaccine Mandates

Dr. Stephen Thomas, an infectious disease physician at SUNY Upstate Medical University, discusses the challenges involved in persuading hesitant people to get vaccinated—even those who work in healthcare facilities. And outlines some of the common refrains. Read more here.

Other Coronavirus News

The CDC issued an urgent advisory for pregnant people to get vaccinated as new data suggests that the virus can be more dangerous for them and their babies.

Vitamin A is being studied in the U.K. as a potential treatment to loss of smell from Covid. 

There is such a thing as “long flu,” but a new study suggests it’s less common than “long Covid.” 

Across Forbes

Warby Parker’s Growth Story Faces A Familiar Hurdle: The Eye Exam

The U.S. Is Declaring 23 Plants And Animals Extinct

This Scientist Helps Andean Forests And Ecuador’s Women In STEM

What Else We are Reading

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey defends plans to use coronavirus relief funds to build new prisons (The Washington Post)

After long wait, Editas reveals first data for CRISPR gene editing treatment (BioPharmaDive)

A new study points to the power of wearables to predict even presymptomatic infections, suggesting use one day against Covid-19 (STAT)

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