President Biden’s surgeon general on Thursday used his first formal advisory to the United States to deliver a broadside against tech and social media companies, which he accused of not doing enough to stop the spread of dangerous health misinformation — especially about Covid-19.
The official, Dr. Vivek Murthy, declared such misinformation “an urgent threat to public health.” His pronouncement came just days after representatives from his office met with Twitter officials, according to a person with knowledge of the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Surgeons general have traditionally used advisories — short statements meant to call Americans’ attention to a public health issue and provide recommendations for addressing it — to talk about such health matters as tobacco use, opioid addiction, suicide prevention and breastfeeding.
But Dr. Murthy’s advisory, a 22-page report with footnotes, had a more political context. Fox News…