Beat the Virus is an initiative of New America’s Health Innovations Lab in collaboration with the MIT Media Lab. It serves as both a social media campaign and a comprehensive coronavirus resource hub that provides people with critical, trusted, and engaging public health messages and resources about the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the helm is Dr. Susan Blumenthal — Former U.S. Assistant Surgeon General; Rear Admiral (ret); Visiting Professor, MIT Media Lab; and Clinical Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine; Senior Fellow in Health Policy, New America; and Senior Medical Advisor, amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research — who directs alongside public health and technology experts working with other national and local influencers who are spreading the word on how you can help #beatthevirus with simple, clear explanations of the science.
The social media campaign, launched in March 2020 describes the individual behaviors that must be adopted to flatten the curve of the coronavirus pandemic and has generated over 600 million media impressions in its first few months of operation. It has a scientific advisory council composed of public health professionals from New America, Tufts Public Health Program, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the Federation of American Scientists, who collaborated with technology experts from the MIT Media Lab and the private sector. Major talent agencies mobilized their actors and athletes including Justin Bieber and Mariah Carey, to get involved with the project to amplify and disseminate coronavirus prevention public health messages. State-of-the-art analytic scaffolding developed by the MIT Media Lab evaluates how these messages are spreading and whether or not they’re reaching the communities that need them the most.
The most recent update to the site features a more extensive host of resources and knowledge bases, along with detailed measures on actions individuals can take as well as comprehensive live data graphs and charts that give an up-to-date view of the fight against COVID-19 as it evolves. Among those pages is a new ‘Vaccine Info’ section that answers a range of questions about the vaccines available and quick, actionable tools for users to find a vaccine nearby.