A post published in English and Spanish repeats the debunked idea that the current monkeypox outbreak might have resulted from a virus that was created in a lab. The post also baselessly alleges that the World Health Organization’s decision to declare the outbreak a public health emergency was due to financial incentives.
Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro criticized the Biden administration’s decision to forgive some student loan debt. Liberal social media accounts then falsely claimed Shapiro had received a loan of about $20,000 that had been forgiven as part of the federal Paycheck Protection Program. Two other people with the same name had received PPP loans.
The White House announced on Aug. 24 that President Joe Biden will take action this year to cancel thousands of dollars in federal student loan debt for millions of Americans, fulfilling a campaign promise he made during the 2020 election cycle. We answer some of the questions readers may have about the debt relief plan, and address political claims about the impact of the plan.
As the virus that causes COVID-19 has evolved, the vaccines have become less effective in preventing symptomatic infection while remaining highly effective in preventing severe disease and death. This shift has been misrepresented by anti-vaccine influencers who falsely claim that it means the vaccines don’t work and have been ineffective all along.
Dr. Anthony Fauci has announced that in December he will step down from his positions as chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden and as head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and its laboratory of immunoregulation. Here are some of the false and misleading claims about Fauci, his work and his public health guidance that we have written about since the coronavirus pandemic began in 2020.
After Congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act, which includes funding to increase staff at the IRS, social media posts falsely claimed members of Congress “voted to exempt themselves from IRS auditing of their personal finances.” An IRS spokesperson told us “there is no such special exemption,” and we found no such vote had been taken.
Studies have repeatedly found that COVID-19 vaccination does not increase the risk of miscarriage. Bogus claims that 44% of pregnant women in the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine trial miscarried rely on a faulty tally of miscarriages that counted each miscarriage twice and included miscarriages from people in the placebo group.
In a 2012 documentary, Magic Johnson discussed his HIV diagnosis and how it has affected his career. Social media posts are sharing an image from the documentary to falsely claim it shows Johnson donating blood for people with COVID-19. Johnson hasn’t donated HIV-infected blood for any medical reason.