‘Disinformation’ concerning Covid-19 is a human rights violation: Pope Francis

Spreading misinformation regarding Covid-19 and the need to get vaccinated is a human rights violation being committed by the media, including Catholic media, claimed Pope Francis.

According to Al Arabiya reports, prior to this, the 85-year-old Pope condemned the spread of “baseless ideologies” pertaining to vaccines and the national immunization campaigns. The Pope has reportedly reiterated the need to consider health care a moral obligation. 

Addressing members of a Catholic website, catholicfactchecking.com, Pope Francis said that helping others to understand the situation without spreading fake news or disinformation is a human right. According to the Pope, “Correct information must be ensured above all to those who are less equipped, to the weakest, and to those who are most vulnerable.”

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According to the Pope, the global community is currently experiencing an “infodemic” of false news based on fear. According to him, those who believe the “invented” news should be won over through accurate scientific knowledge. 

It is pertinent to note that several right-wing Catholic means of information for dissemination including websites, and blogs have been shut down by social networking platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, some of which have reportedly shifted platforms. 

Meanwhile, some of these right-wing media outlets are known for hosting critics of the Pope namely Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, who consider Covid-19 a self-created (within a laboratory) virus as a global plot to rid the world of Christians. Vigano is known for denying that the world is currently undergoing a pandemic and has popularly referred to it as “the work of Satan”.

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In addition, global Covid-19 statistics show France in the leading with most cases followed by Italy. Other countries with a higher percentage of Coronavirus cases include Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. Meanwhile, India and Pakistan have a lesser percentage considering international statistics.

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