Unclear gov't communication incited Covid conspiracy theories: Dutch army
Unclear communication from the government and public health institute RIVM created more room for conspiracy theories around the coronavirus, the armed forces division LIMC, created specifically to gain insight into the information about the pandemic and the spread of fake news around it, said in a report published in mid-August, NRC reports.
The report specifically mentions confusion around how useful face masks are, with the RIVM first saying they don't help much, and then quietly changing the policy in nursing homes advising workers there to wear them. The government also urgently advised that people wear them. From December 1, face masks will be mandatory in indoor public spaces.
Another example was mandatory quarantine, with Health Minister Hugo de Jonge saying on August 11 that people who came into contact with a Covid-19 patient would be obliged to quarantine at home. That measure was scrapped again a day later.
"A clumsy graph falsely gave the impression that people were no longer dying of Covid-19," NRC quoted the report.
The LIMC advised the government to communicate more clearly and to provide more transparency regarding the measures they implement.
Last week, NRC reported that the LIMC had been data mining among Dutch population on a large scale and was sharing the information with various authorities. This report too was sent to multiple places, including various Ministers, the police, and national anti-terrorism coordinator NCTV, the newspaper said.