Prince Harry Said We're Experiencing a "Digital Pandemic" of Misinformation During Vax Live Speech

During his second speech at Global Citizen's Vax Live concert, Prince Harry talked about the "digital pandemic" the world is experiencing now.

prince harry vaxlive
(Image credit: Jason Armond)
  • During his second appearance on stage at Global Citizen's Vax Live: The Concert To Reunite The World, Prince Harry (opens in new tab) talked about the dual pandemics the world is facing in 2021: The coronavirus pandemic and a pandemic of misinformation.
  • "I understand why people are confused, or sometimes don't know what to think or believe about vaccines," Harry said during his second Vax Live (opens in new tab) speech. "We are experiencing a viral pandemic, alongside a digital pandemic.
  • Earlier in the evening, Harry called on viewers to have compassion and empathy for those suffering amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Prince Harry (opens in new tab) says we're living through not just one, but two pandemics in 2021.

Along with his wife, Meghan Markle (opens in new tab), Harry served as a co-chair for Global Citizen's Vax Live: The Concert To Reunite The World (opens in new tab) and the royal made multiple appearances during the event. While his first speech during the show focused on the importance of compassion and empathy for the suffering of others amid the pandemic. During his second speech, Harry took the opportunity to address another issue close to his and Meghan's hearts: The problem of misinformation on the internet and in the media.

"I understand why people are confused, or sometimes don't know what to think or believe about vaccines," Harry said to the crowd of frontline and essential workers who watched the concert live last week at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. "We are experiencing a viral pandemic, alongside a digital pandemic. And much like the virus, there are no borders online. So when vaccine misinformation and disinformation spreads, magnified on social media and in parts of traditional media, it exposes a collective threat to humanity. As long as nations struggle with COVID-19. We all struggle with it."

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Earlier in the evening, Harry delivered an impassioned plea (opens in new tab) for empathy, saying:

"We're also coming together because this pandemic cannot end unless we act collectively with an unprecedented commitment to our shared humanity. The vaccine must be distributed to everyone everywhere. We cannot rest or truly recover until there is fair distribution to every corner of the world. The mission in front of us is one we cannot afford to fail out and that's what tonight is about. The virus does not respect borders and access to the vaccine cannot be determined by geography. It must be accepted as a basic right for all and that is our starting point.

None of us should be comfortable thinking that we could be fine when so many others are suffering. In reality, and especially with this pandemic, when any suffer, we all suffer. We must look beyond ourselves with empathy and compassion for those we know, and those we don't. We need to lift up all of humanity and make sure that no person or community is left behind. What we do in this moment will stand in history and tonight, we stand in solidarity with the millions of families across India who are battling a devastating second wave."

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Kayleigh Roberts
Weekend Editor

Kayleigh Roberts is a freelance writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional experience. Her byline has appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, The Atlantic, Allure, Entertainment Weekly, MTV, Bustle, Refinery29, Girls’ Life Magazine, Just Jared, and Tiger Beat, among other publications. She's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.