Five prominent anti-vaccine organizations that have been known to spread misleading information about the coronavirus received more than $850,000 in loans from the federal Paycheck Protection Program, raising questions about why the government is giving money to groups actively opposing its agenda and seeking to undermine public health during a critical period.
The groups that received the loans are the National Vaccine Information Center, Mercola Com Health Resources, Informed Consent Action Network, the Children’s Health Defense Co. and the Tenpenny Integrative Medical Center.
…[M]any Americans hold skeptical attitudes about vaccination, attitudes public health experts have said are attributable in part to misinformation. Nearly 40% of Americans say they definitely or probably would not get the vaccine, according to a December survey by Pew Research Center.
Despite Facebook’s actions [to combat misinformation], major anti-vaccine accounts on social media platforms have gained more than 10 million new followers since 2019, including 4 million additional followers on Instagram and 1 million on Facebook, according to CCDH.
“These organizations have been sowing the seeds of doubt about vaccines and public health for years,” said Erica Dewald, advocacy director at a pro-vaccine nonprofit called Vaccinate Your Family.
“Now, in the middle of a pandemic, they are accepting funds for the chaos they’ve helped to create,” she said.