By Crystal Bui
Minnesota U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar is continuing to work to root out misinformation about the coronavirus vaccine.
At a news conference Sunday at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, Klobuchar urged the public to only follow medical advice from credible sources.
"I said I was coming over here to do an event on misinformation. And they said, 'Oh man, my mother in law just called me. She thinks there is a microchip in the vaccine.’ And I said, ‘Well, where do you think she got that information?’ And they said, ‘Online,'" Klobuchar said.
That was just one of many stories that concerns Klobuchar. She says the misinformation is spreading on platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and it’s creating consequences.
“A lot of people are refusing to get the vaccine,” said Klobuchar.
And while it’s someone’s right to choose whether they want to get the COVID-19 vaccine, Klobuchar says it’s the misinformation on social media that needs to be dealt with. She says she’s communicated with many online platforms, asking them to remove any misleading information.
“In the funding in this coronavirus package that we're going back to work on, there's significant funding to combat misinformation,” she said.
Klobuchar says it’s about $1 billion in funding; some of that money could end up going to set-up a full-time “misinformation task force” at the Department of Homeland Security.
But until that’s sorted out, there is a push for health care workers to set the standard, and to get vaccinated.
“We knew this was going to be an issue that we ran into with other vaccines," said Dr. Kevin Best, a physician with Allina Health. "So one of the strategies we took within Allina is to address our staff and our providers with how the vaccine works, what the safety of it is, so that they were able to feel free to lead by example but to also get the vaccines themselves so that they can share those stories with their family members and friends.”
Klobuchar says at Mayo Clinic, about 95% of healthcare workers have already chosen to be vaccinated.
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