Statement from the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada on Friday, June 12, 2020
June 12, 2020 - Ottawa, ON - Public Health Agency of Canada
In lieu of a daily in-person update to the media, Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's Chief Public Health Officer, issued the following statement today:
"As of the end of the day on Thursday, June 11, there were 97,530 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 7,994 deaths and 57,658 or 59% now recovered. Labs across Canada have tested 2,028,496 people for COVID-19 to date. Over the past week, we have been testing an average of 33,000 people daily, with 2% of these testing positive. These numbers change quickly and are now being updated once daily in the evenings on Canada.ca/coronavirus.
Today, I would like to talk about misinformation − the unintentional sharing of false or misleading information. There is no place for misinformation on any day, least so during a crisis on the scale of COVID-19. It detracts from progress and solutions and results in real harm. At times during COVID-19, we have been dealing with two epidemics: the disease, and misinformation about the disease.
Although well-intentioned people typically share misinformation that they believe to be true, the source can often be traced back to a deliberate fabrication.
Misleading people by deliberately spreading false information is called disinformation. Sources of disinformation can range from "robots" or "bots" that are set up to blast out mass communications, or they may be actual people who share false information for political, money generating or other less-than-admirable reasons.
While it can be difficult to stop the flow of disinformation from reaching us completely given the sophisticated, systematic and highly convincing ways it reaches our screens and devices, we can play a part in stopping it from spreading to others. For instance, when you see something and share it with friends, neighbours, colleagues and acquaintances, you are giving it a stamp of approval and increasing the credibility of the information. The trust that each of your contacts has in you makes disinformation seem more authentic and believable.
We all have a responsibility and role to play in stopping the spread of misinformation. Passed down through the ages from Rumi, a brilliant 13th century Persian poet:
"Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates:
- Is it true?
- Is it necessary?
- It is kind?"
With the amount of information that we consume each day, it is now more important than ever to ask ourselves these questions and seek out trusted and reliable sources of information to guide us. The Government of Canada website, Canada.ca/coronavirus, is a good place to start for credible information.
There are also resources that can help you and your family boost your digital and media literacy skills. One example is Mediasmarts.ca, where you can find many resources including specific resources for families and educators to maintain a balance with technology use during COVID-19."
Public Health Agency of Canada
Report a problem or mistake on this page
- Date modified: