Joseph Mercola has spiked the news for his passionate spreading of misinformation about the Coronavirus. Mercola is an osteopathic physician that sells food supplements and other medicine in his online store. However, he is not new to the “fake-news” world as he did the same thing earlier at the beginning of the pandemic. As the number of anti-vaxxers rises in the US, the ability to be misled through the internet has gotten easier, and Mercola took advantage of that. Currently, the FDA is doing its best to denounce any misinformation being spread.
“According to the Center for Countering Digital Hate or CCDH, only 12 people are responsible for 65% of the anti-vaccine disinformation online, and one of them is Joseph Mercola.”Quoted from the Tech Times article, “Joseph Mercola, a Notorious Spreader of Coronavirus Disinformation, Gets FDA Warning”
Joseph Mercola is known for his infamous spread of anti-vaccination myths. Before his target on the coronavirus vaccine, he focused on denouncing the HPV vaccine. This physician has been a massive part of the anti-vaccination movement for over ten years and has donated over $4 million to anti-science groups like the National Vaccine Information Center. The National Vaccine Information Center is the most well-known anti-vaccine organization in the USA. However, those who are not part of that group of anti-vaxxers know that Mercola is maliciously abusing his platform through marketing tactics by targeting a specific group of people with stubborn beliefs and feeding them with what they want to hear so he can market his own products with their gained trust towards him.
This millionaire “influencer” has over a million followers on just Facebook, and promoted falsely proven alternative ‘treatments’ such as the encouragement of injecting bleach. This sadly caused over 800 people to die from following his advice. After the CDC found out about his harmful intentions, they and other government officials took actions such as pressuring Mercola to remove all articles on his site that falsely claim that certain supplements can cure the coronavirus. The Food and Drug Administration- better known as the FDA- also stepped in and wrote Mercola a letter warning him to stop promoting fake supplements.
As the US Government is trying to remove as many influencers that promote false claims about the coronavirus, Mercola’s social media accounts are still active with more than 31 million people following anti-vaccine groups. Mercola’s book “The Truth About COVID-19” was even on Amazon’s bestseller list because of the large target audience. While the CCDH is still trying to take further action for Mercola’s continuation of spreading false claims, Mercola tells his audience that the CCDH is a “progressive cancel-culture leader” and claimed that the removal of his articles was a violation of freedom of speech.