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FDA Commissioner Claims Health Misinformation Is Reducing Life Expectancy

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf said that life expectancy in the U.S. was “looking worse, not better” and blamed perceived misinformation for the decline, according to an interview published Tuesday with CNBC.

Califf explained in an interview recorded over the weekend that people now get information in a variety of ways and that makes it harder to determine what is accurate and what is not, according to CNBC. That access to information, Califf argued, meant that life expectancy has gotten worse because people’s thinking was often “influenced” by what they read on the internet and that the U.S. was falling behind its peers in the health field.

“Why aren’t we using medical products as effectively and efficiently as our peer countries,” Califf said. “A lot of it has to do with choices that people make because of the things that influenced their thinking.The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention found that life expectancy had reached a two-decade low in the last 20 years, according to a 2022 report, while drug overdoses increased by roughly 400%. In 2021, the average lifespan dropped from 77 years to 76.4 and prior to that life expectancy had dropped by almost three years from 2019 to 2021.

Califf acknowledged that the pandemic was also partially responsible for the decline, but said that he had been making combating misinformation his top priority and that telling the “truth” was of the utmost importance, according to CNBC. The commissioner argued that people have been “deluded” into ignoring medical advice and doing things that they see on the internet “that aren’t effective.”

“You think about the impact of a single person reaching a billion people on the internet all over the world, we just weren’t prepared for that,” Califf told CNBC. “We don’t have societal rules that are adjudicating it quite right, and I think it’s impacting our health in very detrimental ways.”

The FDA did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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