Fauci: Smallpox wouldn't have been eradicated with today's 'false information'

Anthony FauciAnthony Fauci'Highest priority' is to vaccinate the unvaccinated, Fauci says Sunday shows - Boosters in the spotlight Fauci: Data for Moderna, Johnson & Johnson booster shots 'a few weeks' out MORE said on Saturday that he thinks smallpox and polio would still be spreading in the U.S. if today's “false information” were present then.

"If you look at the extraordinary historic success in eradicating smallpox and eliminating polio from most of the world, and we're on the brink of eradicating polio, if we had the pushback for vaccines the way we're seeing on certain media, I don't think it would have been possible at all to not only eradicate smallpox; we probably would still have smallpox, and we probably would still have polio in this country," Fauci, President BidenJoe BidenCapitol fencing starts coming down after 'Justice for J6' rally Senate parliamentarian nixes Democrats' immigration plan Biden pushes back at Democrats on taxes MORE’s chief medical adviser, said in response to a question from "CNN Newsroom" host Jim AcostaJames (Jim) AcostaDemocrats brace for battle on Biden's .5 trillion spending plan Clyburn: 'You may not need .5 trillion to do what the president wants done' Joe Rogan rips CNN over coverage of ivermectin regimen MORE.

“If we had the kind of false information that's being spread now, if we had that back decades ago, I would be certain that we'd still have polio in this country,” he added.

ADVERTISEMENT

Surgeon General Vivek MurthyVivek MurthyFDA panel endorses COVID-19 booster shots for older Americans, rejects widespread use Facebook announces crackdown on 'coordinated social harm' campaigns Biden to speak at UN general assembly in person MORE issued an advisory on Thursday calling health misinformation an “urgent threat,” saying in a statement that “it can cause confusion, sow distrust, and undermine public health efforts, including our ongoing work to end the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The advisory urges technology and social media companies to do more to fight misinformation on their platforms, including redesigning algorithms to refrain from amplifying misinformation and strengthening monitoring.

ADVERTISEMENT

Murthy’s comments come as concerns over COVID-19 have risen in recent weeks, especially with the more contagious delta variant spreading rapidly throughout the U.S.

Vaccination rates are also down in the country, as many in the vaccine-hesitant population are still refusing to get inoculated.

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Rochelle WalenskyRochelle WalenskyFDA panel endorses COVID-19 booster shots for older Americans, rejects widespread use Watch live: White House COVID-19 response team holds briefing The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Tight security for Capitol rally; Biden agenda slows MORE, said on Friday that COVID-19 is “becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” as the majority of recent hospitalizations and deaths are people who have not been inoculated.

Biden on Friday said social media platforms are “killing people” when answering a question about his message to corporate giants regarding COVID-19 misinformation.