The French government stepped in to stop a rumor that cocaine cures the coronavirus.
French government officials had to remind its citizens that cocaine is not a preventative measure for the novel coronavirus. With France’s neighboring country recently taking major precautions, quarantining approximately 16 million of their citizens, the spread of the life-threatening COVID-19 disease into their borders have become a growing concern for their citizens and official health advisors as well. The original rumor that cocaine was a cure for the coronavirus began as a part of ill-advised information leak on the highly-popularized social media platform Facebook, which has had a history of containing false information in the past. Spencer Platt/Getty Images
According to Politifact, the Facebook post popped up on the internet on Jan. 30 and featured a photo of the highly-addictive narcotic and a grammatically butchered banner headline that read “Cocaine kills coronavirus” and “Scientists is shocked to discover that this drug can fight the virus.” As per usual, the false information eventually made its way to different social media platforms and has influenced some French citizens that cocaine could actually be used to prevent from contracting COVID-19.
Despite the post being flagged for spreading dangerously false information that could potentially affect the health of millions of people, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health in Paris, France had to make a statement to ensure the safety of the country’s citizens. A Ministry official took to Twitter to announce in a short, concise statement that translates to:
“No, cocaine does NOT protect against COVID-19. It is an addictive drug that causes serious side effects and is harmful to people’s health.”
With major corporations and public event producers taking precautions against the coronavirus, we could have to watch our sporting events from the comfort of our homes in empty stadiums and postpone major events like Coachella until the disease is officially contained. With American government officials even in self-quarantine situations, it is extremely reckless and dangerous for misinformation to be spread about COVID-19. Especially in regards to harmful drug use which could lead to further health complications in these already troubling times.