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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

October 21, 2009

Over the past 26 flu seasons, flu activity has peaked in February more often than in any other month.
Source: CDC

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of Oct. 13-Oct. 19

This week, readers sent us comments on the flu vaccine, fabricated Limbaugh quotes and FactCheck fact-checking. In the FactCheck Mailbag we feature some of the e-mail we receive.
Readers can send comments to editor@factcheck.org. Letters may be edited for length.

Cadillac Plans and the Middle Class

The liberal group Health Care for America Now is airing an ad that argues against a tax on high-cost employer-provided health care plans, a revenue-raising aspect of the Senate Finance Committee bill. "Some senators say they want to tax so-called ‘Cadillac’ health care plans, but those proposals will also tax the benefits of millions of middle class workers," the narrator says as an on-screen graphic pops up, claiming "40% tax on health care benefits of middle-class workers."

October 20, 2009

Each year in the U.S., 5 percent to 20 percent of the population on average gets the flu. About 36,000 die from flu-related causes.
Source: CDC

Inoculation Misinformation

Wild rumors are flying about the newly developed vaccine for pandemic influenza H1N1, also known as “swine flu.” We’ve seen e-mails stating that the vaccine is tainted with antifreeze or Agent Orange, causes Gulf War syndrome, or has killed U.S. Navy sailors. One says the vaccine is an “evil depopulation scheme.” …

October 19, 2009

China is the world’s top apple producer.
Source: USDA

October 18, 2009

Pumpkins can range in size from less than a pound to more than a thousand pounds. 
Source: University of Illinois

October 17, 2009

Illinois, one of the top four pumpkin-producing states, produced 496 million pounds of pumpkins in 2008.
Source: University of Illinois

RGA Not Amused by Daggett

Chris Christie, the Republican nominee in New Jersey’s gubernatorial contest, recently called the candidacy of Chris Daggett, a former Environmental Protection Agency administrator who’s running on the Independent ticket, an "amusement." But the Republican Governors Association isn’t so amused by Daggett.
With polls showing Daggett cutting into Christie’s lead, the RGA has released both a 15-second TV spot and a 60-second radio ad saying the Independent candidate is like the state’s current governor, Democrat Jon Corzine,

October 16, 2009

Forty-nine percent of 18- and 19-year-olds in the U.S. were enrolled in college in 2007.
Source: Census Bureau