• Social Capital and COVID-19 Response

    Social capital measures how well connected we are to our families, communities, workplaces and religious groups. Researchers found that early in the COVID-19 pandemic, high levels of social capital were associated with a slower spread of the virus.

  • Train Engineer Inspired by Covid-19 Conspiracy Theory to Intentionally Derail Locomotive

    A train engineer at the Port of Los Angeles pleaded guilty last week to a federal terrorism charge for intentionally running a locomotive at full speed off the end of railroad to “wake people up” to a government plot to use Covid-19 as a pretext to “take over” the country.

  • Jabbed in the Back: Russian, Chinese COVID-19 Disinformation Campaigns

    The public health and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic have also become a battle about the nature of truth itself. From the emergence of the first reports of a virus in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, opportunistic leaders in China, Russia, and elsewhere have used the virus as a pretext to further erode democracy and wage information warfare. They have inundated an already polluted information environment with disinformation and propaganda about the virus’s origins and cures, and, most recently, vaccines.

  • Some Doctors Spreading Coronavirus Misinformation Are Being Punished

    State medical boards are receiving more and more complaints about false or misleading information about COVID-19, but only a handful have taken action against doctors. Researchers say that misinformation delivered by doctors can be particularly insidious as a result of the credibility associated with their profession and the difficulty that patients may experience try to debunk their highly technical language.

  • Human and Economic Impacts of Covid-19

    The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the behavior of businesses and households.  Those behavioral changes, intensified by government actions like mandatory closures, have had a reverberating impact on the U.S. economy.

  • “Big Data Paradox”: 2 Early Vaccination Surveys Worse Than Worthless

    “Big data paradox” is a mathematical tendency of big data sets to minimize one type of error, due to small sample size, but magnify another that tends to get less attention: flaws linked to systematic biases that make the sample a poor representation of the larger population. Analyst found that that tendency caused two early vaccination surveys to be misleading – a findings which holds warning for tracking efforts as governments and health officials as they formulate policies to battle the pandemic.

  • How the U.K. Government Managed the Balance between Taking Credit and Apportioning Blame for Its Covid Response

    How does a government manage a problem like COVID-19? Political scientists have long noted that governance is not just about managing the problem itself: Governance is also the managing of wider perceptions and expectations of how the problem is being managed. To manage the perceptions of how it was managing the crisis, the U.K. government used four key narratives: unprecedented government activism; working to plan; national security, wartime unity and sacrifice; and scientific guidance.

  • How Has COVID-19 Changed the Violent Extremist Landscape?

    Coronavirus has highlighted how anxiety, uncertainty, and the reordering of democratic state-citizen relations can breed susceptibility to violent extremist thinking and action.

  • German Police Investigating Anti-Vax Assassination Plot against German Politician

    A group of conspiracy theorists used Telegram to call for an armed response to Saxony’s state premier Michael Kretschmer’s restrictions on the unvaccinated. The right-wing extremism branch of Saxony’s anti-terror unit is investigating.

  • Viral Vendettas: Pandemic-Driven Growth of Online Conspiratorial Movements

    Graphika has just released a new report which  tracks the growth of conspiratorial movements online throughout the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, seeking to understand how these communities have evolved, and to what extent they have enabled real-world and online harms.

  • Preventing and Responding to High-Consequence Biological Threats

    A new report offers actionable recommendations for the international community to bolster prevention and response capabilities for high-consequence biological events.

  • The U.K. Government’s Preparedness for COVID-19: Risk-Management Lessons

    A new report from the U.K. National Audit Office (NAO) examines the government’s risk analysis, planning, and mitigation strategies prior to the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic. The report notes that the pandemic has exposed a vulnerability to whole-system emergencies – that is, emergencies which are so broad that they require the engagement of the entire system.

  • Two-meter COVID-19 Rule Is “Arbitrary Measurement” of Safety

    A new study has shown that the airborne transmission of COVID-19 is highly random and suggests that the two-meter rule was a number chosen from a risk ‘continuum’, rather than any concrete measurement of safety.

  • Russian Anti-Vaccine Disinformation Campaign Backfires

    For more than a year, Russian-aligned troll factories overseeing thousands of social media accounts have been spreading anti-vaccine messages in an aggressive campaign to spread conspiracy theories and cast doubt on Western coronavirus vaccines. But the year-long offensive appears to have backfired. Russian officials now worry that the anti-vaccine skepticism encouraged by the troll factories has spilled over and is partly responsible for the high level of vaccine hesitancy among Russians.

  • News Manipulation by State Actors

    Did authoritarian regimes engage in news manipulation during the pandemic? How can such manipulation be brought to light? New report shows that both Russia and China appear to have employed information manipulation during the COVID-19 pandemic in service to their respective global agendas.