NIH Director Collins: Epidemic of Misinformation ‘Tearing us Apart’ — ‘Heartbreaking’ Masks Being Politicized

National Institutes of Health director Dr. Francis Collins said on this week’s broadcast of “Fox News Sunday” that it was “heartbreaking” masks had become a political issue.

Collins said, “It’s really unfortunate that politics and polarization have got in the way of a simple public health measure. This mask that I’m holding has somehow become a symbol that it never should have been. This is basically just a life-saving medical device, and somehow it’s now being seen as an invasion of your personal liberty. We never should have gone there. It’s heartbreaking for me as a person who’s not a politician. I’m a scientist. I’m a public health person, I’m a doctor, to see how masks have gotten into this very strange place with parents and others shouting about it. We never should have allowed that to happen.”

He added, “It’s devastating that we in this country, the most advanced technological society on the planet, has somehow slipped into a space where the evidence and the basis for making decisions on facts has gotten pushed aside by politics, by social media conspiracies and by this incredible depth of anger and grievance that seems to be held by so many. Our future as a nation has got to revolve around coming away from that and up approach to everything, or I don’t see how we are going to solve all of our society’s problems, which are looming in front of us. If I have one thing I’m worried about, it’s not just the epidemic of COVID-19. It’s the epidemic of misinformation, disinformation, distrust that is tearing us apart. ”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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