“Pandemic does not mean panic-demic,” he said Friday afternoon. He was seated cross-legged on a black leather sofa., trying out lines. “Do you like that? Or is that corny?” He decided it was good and corny.
Dr. Varshavski delivers solid health information to young people, much of it through videos of him reacting to memes and TV shows. When the coronavirus crisis began, he responded. And because YouTube’s system now favors authoritative voices, videos like his “The Truth About the Coronavirus” rank high in recommendations. It has drawn more than five million views.
Mr. Varshavski also debunks misinformation from many directions. One of his targets Friday was an influencer who talks to deer. Another is the TV star Dr. Mehmet Oz, who has been recommending zinc tablets and elderberry syrup. (A spokesman for Dr. Oz said the products have been shown to be helpful with the common cold.) Then, of course, there’s President Trump.
Responsible voices like Dr. Varshavski’s and a…