Prince Harry blasts anti-vaxxers for spreading ‘lies and fear’ and ‘eroding trust’ on social media

Prince harry gq awards
The Duke of Sussex at the GQ Awards. David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Hugo Boss UK
  • Prince Harry has criticized news outlets for spreading “lies” about the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Harry made the comments via video link at the GQ Awards, attended by Piers Morgan.
  • Morgan was cleared by Ofcom on Tuesday over comments he made about Meghan Markle.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The Duke of Sussex spoke about “vaccine hesitancy” during a speech at the British GQ Men of the Year Awards in London on Wednesday.

Speaking via video link from California, Prince Harry condemned anti-vaxxers for spreading misinformation across news outlets and social media.

“Families around the world are being overwhelmed by mass-scale misinformation across ‘news’ media and social media, where those who peddle in lies and fear are creating vaccine hesitancy, which in turn is dividing communities and eroding trust,” Harry said, according to GQ. “This is a system we need to break if we are to overcome COVID-19 and the rise of new variants.”

Harry went on to praise the scientists behind the development of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine as “heroes of the highest order who gave us an instrument to fight this disease.”

“They are our nation’s pride, and we are deeply indebted to their service,” he said.

The duke’s comments about “mass-scale misinformation” across news media appeared to be a reference to journalists’ coverage of the vaccine. However, some media outlets including the Daily Mail and the Daily Mirror interpreted this as a jab at Piers Morgan.

Morgan shared the Daily Mail’s article on Twitter, writing: “#awks” in response.

Morgan, who was in the audience at the awards ceremony, was cleared by the UK media regulator Ofcom over his comments on Meghan Markle’s mental health on Wednesday.

Morgan previously said on ITV News that he did not believe what Markle said in her interview with Oprah Winfrey, which aired in March. He dismissed the duchess’ claims about her suicidal thoughts, including that she received little support from Buckingham Palace when she asked for help.

While Morgan’s comments resulted in almost 60,000 complaints, Ofcom concluded that he did not break its code.