Truth rules

For those who haven’t noticed yet … we have recently added constant and blatant lying by senior members of government to the ways that the American public receives information about its health systems and its health care.

Luckily for us, it also appears that a significant proportion of the senior members of the healthcare community have (after a while) been unwilling to put up with this sort of BS — although I would personally have preferred it if the lying had never begun and certain members of the healthcare community had been more outspoken sooner.

I am not going to waste your time by listing all the lies about everything from the risks associated with the coronavirus to the likelihood that we will have a safe and effective vaccine by some arbitrary date in early November that have been told over the past 9 months. Others have been doing that already. What interests me (and should interest you) is what you need to do when you are on the receiving end of this type of BS and need to counter it.

There are some really pretty simple rules.

  • Seek out actual data that come from authoritative sources and that are based (to the greatest extent possible) on truth — such data are known as facts.
  • Make sure that you also provide the source for your facts.
  • Communicate these facts in simple and brief statements as widely as seems reasonable to you.
  • Ask respected authorities to confirm these facts by using similarly simple and brief statements
  • Do not bother to argue with the spreader of lies.
  • Do not make comments like, “Other may disagree with us, but …” or “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but …”. Such statements may be true but a fact is a fact. Let it speak for itself.
  • Do not waste your own time by telling everyone who is doing the lying (unless it becomes legally necessary to do so).
  • Remember that the truth is one of the most powerful tools that you can use to communicate with others, because they can check this for themselves (even if they are unwilling to do so).
  • Also bear in mind that the truth bolsters your reputation — and your company’s or firm’s reputation — over time; every lie will come back to bite you sooner or later.

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