(Headline USA) The Biden administration spent more than a half-million dollars to fight COVID-19 “misinformation” alleged to target Hispanics.
The Department of Health and Human Services issued a massive grant to Texas Woman’s University last month “to expand research on mitigating the effect of misinformation and disinformation” in connection to “COVID-19 prevention and treatment initiatives among Hispanics,” records show. The grant program was launched May 10 and ends in April 2024, according to the Washington Examiner.
In its description of the grant, HHS claimed Hispanics face “health disparities and inequitable gaps,” which is why it is “imperative” to study and combat the rise of healthcare “misinformation consumed by the Hispanic community.”
Texas Woman’s University on this matter will include the “development of a longitudinal misinformation/disinformation index,” which HHS says “will allow estimating degrees of misinformation and disinformation impact over time and between ethnic groups.”
The mention of a “disinformation index” comes weeks after HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra came under fire for launching a disinformation tracking effort within the agency during the pandemic. Records show Becerra and other agency officials urged Twitter and Facebook to censor COVID wrongthink.
Surgeon General Vivek Murthy admitted in an August 2021 call with education groups that the agency was “working to combat misinformation in many ways, one being working with tech companies,” according to emails.
Anne Feldman, a spokesperson for HHS, insisted in a statement that the agency “does not censor speech.”
House Republicans have floated defunding any government agency that promotes censorship.
“We’re looking at different language to put on the appropriation bill that says ‘No money can be used to set up a Disinformation Governance Board, money can’t be used for federal agents or federal employees to in any way pressure social media companies to limit America’s speech and label speech [misinformation],'” House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said last week.