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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

A Guide to Our Coronavirus Coverage

In our work fact-checking political claims and debunking viral deceptions, we have found a tremendous amount of misinformation on the coronavirus pandemic.

Here’s a guide to our coverage of the facts, including links to our latest stories, FAQs, political claims, videos and expert outside resources. Click on the headlines for the full stories and resources.

All of our coronavirus stories can be found here. Las versiones en español de nuestras historias se pueden ver aquí.

Our Latest Stories

These are the most recent stories we published on COVID-19:

Video: Tucker Carlson Misrepresents Vaccine Safety Reporting Data
In this video, FactCheck.org and Univision Noticias teamed up to debunk misleading statements spread by Fox News host Tucker Carlson about the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. En español.

FEMA Staff and Contracted Medical Workers Are Required to Follow Vaccine Mandate
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is deploying contracted medical workers to understaffed hospitals, where they are required to comply with COVID-19 vaccine mandates. But social media posts falsely claim that “doctors and nurses are being forced to quit over the mandates,” while the workers sent by FEMA are “exempt.”

Trump and Son Whitewash Vaccine Willingness Before Biden
Former President Donald Trump and his son Eric have been dishing out revisionist history with claims that vaccine hesitancy soared once Biden assumed office and that “people were getting the vaccine in record numbers” until Biden implemented vaccine mandates.

Already Had COVID-19? Vaccines Boost Immunity, Not ‘Wipe Out’ Antibodies
Studies show the COVID-19 vaccines boost the antibody levels and improve the immune response of those who previously had COVID-19. The vaccines do not “wipe out” the antibodies developed by a person who had recovered from the disease, as social media posts have falsely claimed for months.

Merck, Pfizer COVID-19 Antivirals Different From Ivermectin
Merck and Pfizer are each developing a new oral antiviral drug that might prevent or treat COVID-19. The pills are very different from the antiparasitic medication ivermectin, contrary to claims online that they are “suspiciously similar” or that the companies are “repackaging” ivermectin in a ploy to increase profits.

Partisan Claims About Flight Cancellations Lack Evidence
Southwest Airlines’ flight cancellations fueled partisan claims over the weekend that transportation workers were protesting COVID-19 vaccine requirements and causing the cancellations. But there’s no evidence that workers staged protests. The Federal Aviation Administration, the airline and labor unions have all cited other reasons. En español.

Migrants Not Responsible for Latest COVID-19 Surge
Infectious disease experts say low vaccination rates, resistance to protective measures such as wearing a mask and the highly transmissible delta variant are driving the current surge of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. En español.

White House and HHS Employees Aren’t ‘Exempt’ from Vaccine Mandate
While some specifics of President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates haven’t been determined, misleading claims about who will be “exempt” have circulated online. Employees at the White House and in agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services are subject to Biden’s executive order requiring federal employees to be vaccinated. En español.

Video: Instagram Posts Spread Texas Lawmaker’s False Claims on Vaccine Testing
In this video, FactCheck.org and Univision Noticias teamed up to debunk false claims, spreading on social media, that were made by a state senator in Texas about vaccine safety. En español.

Basketball Star Bradley Beal’s Misleading Comments About COVID-19
NBA star Bradley Beal made some misleading comments — shared in viral video clips — about the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines. No vaccine is 100% effective, but clinical trials and studies show the COVID-19 vaccines are very effective at preventing illness, particularly serious illness, including for those previously infected, such as Beal. En español.

Posts Spread Dubious Claim About Ivermectin and Male Fertility
The Food and Drug Administration says male infertility is not a known side effect of the antiparasitic medication ivermectin. Dubious claims that the drug sterilizes 85% of male users were incorrectly attributed to a questionable 2011 study of the drug’s effect on a small sample of Nigerian men with onchocerciasis, a tropical disease also known as “river blindness.” En español.

All of our coronavirus stories can be found here. Las versiones en español de nuestras historias se pueden ver aquí

 

FAQs

Some of the explanatory articles that we have done:

COVID-19: The Unvaccinated Pose a Risk to the Vaccinated
In this Ask SciCheck, we answer the question: How do people who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 pose a risk to people who have been vaccinated? En español.

Ongoing Clinical Trials Will Decide Whether (or Not) Ivermectin Is Safe, Effective for COVID-19
Studies on whether ivermectin is beneficial in treating COVID-19 patients haven’t been conclusive, and health officials have warned people not to self-medicate. But multiple large trials are continuing to assess the antiparasitic drug. Yet, Sen. Rand Paul reportedly said researchers were “unwilling to objectively study” it because of “hatred” for Donald Trump. He later acknowledged studies are being done. Here we review the research. En español.

Q&A on Biden’s COVID-19 Vaccine-or-Test Rule
Here we answer some questions about Biden’s directive to the Labor Department to develop a temporary emergency rule for businesses with 100 or more employees that would require workers to be fully vaccinated or be tested at least once a week.

CDC Data Thus Far Show COVID-19 Vaccination Safe During Pregnancy
Federal vaccine monitoring systems have identified no safety concerns with the COVID-19 vaccines for pregnant people. Preliminary Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data show that miscarriage is not more frequent than expected in vaccinated people. Online posts, however, falsely contend that such data, as reported in a CDC publication, show an 82% miscarriage rate. En español.

A Guide to the CDC’s Updated Mask Recommendations
Citing new data on the delta variant, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that fully vaccinated people wear face masks indoors in some parts of the country. En español.

The Facts – and Gaps – on the Origin of the Coronavirus
Despite increased media attention to the possibility that the novel coronavirus may have escaped from a lab, no credible evidence has emerged to support it and most scientists think the virus likely has a natural origin. En español.

The Wuhan Lab and the Gain-of-Function Disagreement
A disagreement between Republican Sen. Rand Paul and Dr. Anthony Fauci has put $600,000 of U.S. grant money to the Wuhan Institute of Virology back into the spotlight, while making “gain-of-function” research a household term — all amid calls for more investigation into the origins of SARS-CoV-2. En español.

Evidence Points to Safety of COVID-19 Vaccines for Pregnant People
Clinical trials and medical studies have indicated that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe for pregnant people. But online posts misrepresent unverified reports submitted to vaccine monitoring systems in the U.S. and Europe to misleadingly suggest “920 women” lost babies because they received COVID-19 vaccines. En español.

So Far, Vaccines Remain Effective Against Variants
So far, COVID-19 vaccines have been effective against variants of the coronavirus. Scientists are monitoring the situation carefully, with updated or new vaccines a possibility in the future, if need be. En español.

Exploring the Legality of COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates
Employers, colleges and universities generally may require immunizations. But there is some uncertainty about the legality of mandating vaccines authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. En español.

Research Rebuts Claims Linking COVID-19 Vaccines to Male Infertility
A new study found there was no negative effect on sperm levels in men after receiving the COVID-19 vaccines, undercutting suggestions that the shots affect male fertility. But social media posts have made the baseless claim that vaccinated men “are effectively sterile.” En español.

Q&A on the Rare Clotting Events That Caused the J&J Pause
We look at what is known about the rare clotting conditions associated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, their frequency and the risks of COVID-19. En español.

The Facts on the Recommended J&J Vaccine ‘Pause’
So far, nearly 200 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in the U.S., including 7.2 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. In six cases there have been reports of “a rare and severe type of blood clot” in those who received the J&J vaccine, prompting the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to recommend “a pause in the use” of the J&J vaccine “out of an abundance of caution.” We review the facts of this rare condition that caused the pause. En español.

A Guide to Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 Vaccine
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is the third COVID-19 vaccine to be authorized by the Food and Drug Administration. Here, we give a rundown of basic facts about the vaccine and an overview of how it works. En español.

A Guide to Moderna’s COVID-19 Vaccine
Moderna’s mRNA vaccine is the second COVID-19 vaccine authorized for use in the U.S. Here, we give a rundown of basic facts about the vaccine and an overview of how it works. En español.

A Guide to Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 Vaccine
The first COVID-19 vaccine to go into any American arms outside of a trial — and the first to be fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration — is Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine, which was designed and developed by the German biotech company BioNTech. Here, we give a rundown of basic facts about the vaccine and an overview of how it works. En español.

Q&A on COVID-19 Vaccines
Three COVID-19 vaccines are now authorized in the U.S. In this story, we answer some common questions about the shots. En español.

No Evidence Vaccines Impact Fertility
Q: Do the COVID-19 vaccines cause infertility?
A: There’s no evidence that approved vaccines cause fertility loss. Although clinical trials did not study the issue, loss of fertility has not been reported among thousands of trial participants nor confirmed as an adverse event among millions who have been vaccinated. En español.

The Evolving Science of Face Masks and COVID-19
Since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began recommending that members of the public mask up last spring, additional research has backed the use of face masks to combat the coronavirus. While knowledge gaps still remain, experts agree that masks should be used — and increasingly, they are emphasizing the use of better masks. En español.

Timeline of Trump’s COVID-19 Comments
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, Trump has questioned the effectiveness of masks, touted unproven treatments and criticized his own health experts. Here is the timeline of the president’s comments on COVID-19.

Q&A on COVID-19 Antibody Tests
President Trump says antibody tests “will help us assess the number of cases that have been asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic, and support our efforts to get Americans back to work by showing us who might have developed the wonderful, beautiful immunity.” But so far, the tests are not widely available — and many of those that are available do not work as advertised.

The Facts on Coronavirus Testing
We explain how testing works, what happened with the CDC’s coronavirus test and what’s known about how many tests are available in the U.S.

No Evidence to Back COVID-19 Ibuprofen Concerns
There is no evidence that ibuprofen or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can make COVID-19 cases more severe. You should consult your doctor before changing medications.

Does Vitamin D Protect Against COVID-19?
Some scientists have hypothesized vitamin D might be helpful, but there is no direct evidence that vitamin D can prevent COVID-19 or lessen disease severity. Nevertheless, it should be part of a healthy lifestyle.

No Evidence That Flu Shot Increases Risk of COVID-19
A claim being pushed on social media and by an organization skeptical of vaccines is using a military study to falsely suggest that the flu vaccine increases someone’s risk of contracting COVID-19. The study does not say that, and the Military Health System advises people to get the flu shot.

Baseless Conspiracy Theories Claim New Coronavirus Was Bioengineered
Several online stories inaccurately claim that the new coronavirus contains HIV “insertions” and shows signs of being created in a lab. But there is no evidence that the new virus was bioengineered, and every indication it came from an animal.

Editor’s Note: If you have a question about the coronavirus pandemic, send us an email at editor@factcheck.org and put “COVID-19” in the subject line.

Political Claims

Some of our most popular stories on claims made by politicians include:

Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force during a March 13 news conference.
Photo Credit: White House

Biden’s False Claim on Trump’s Response to Coronavirus
Former Vice President Joe Biden was wrong when he said that the Trump administration made no effort to get U.S. medical experts into China as the novel coronavirus epidemic spread there early this year.

Trump’s H1N1 Swine Flu Pandemic Spin
The president made false and misleading comparisons between his response to the new coronavirus and President Barack Obama’s handling of the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic.

The Facts on Trump’s Travel Restrictions
The president has made a number of misleading statements about his decision on Jan. 31 to impose travel restrictions related to the novel coronavirus epidemic.

False Claim About CDC’s Global Anti-Pandemic Work
Democrats have said that the Trump administration cut the CDC’s anti-pandemic work in over 40 countries to just 10. The CDC told us that’s not true.

Trump Falsely Claims He Inherited ‘Empty’ Stockpile
More than once, President Donald Trump has falsely claimed that the federal stockpile of emergency medicine and supplies he inherited from his predecessor was an “empty shelf.”

Democrats’ Misleading Coronavirus Claims
Democrats have criticized President Donald Trump for his administration’s response to the new coronavirus, making claims about cuts to public health programs and the silencing of government experts. But they haven’t always gotten their facts right.

Trump’s Statements About the Coronavirus
President Donald Trump said on March 17, “I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic.” While it’s not possible to know what Trump “felt,” there’s no doubt that Trump had minimized the threat of the new coronavirus for weeks in statement after statement.

Trump and the ‘New Hoax’
Democratic presidential candidates harshly criticized President Donald Trump for using the term “hoax” in connection with the coronavirus outbreak. There’s no question that the president described the disease as the Democrats’ “new hoax” at a political rally on Feb. 28 in South Carolina. But Trump said that when he used the word “hoax,” he was referring to Democrats finding fault with his administration’s response to coronavirus, not the virus itself.

 

All of our coronavirus stories can be found here.

Videos

All of our coronavirus videos can be found here.

 

 

Q&A on COVID-19 Antibody Tests

In this video, we answer questions about the antibody tests that President Trump says are needed to get the U.S. back to work. How accurate are COVID-19 antibody tests? What’s the status of the tests in the U.S.? Will someone be protected from being infected again if they have antibodies to the virus? How long might someone be immune to COVID-19?

Posted by FactCheck.org on Wednesday, April 29, 2020

 

 

 

Coronavirus Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The CDC provides daily updates of U.S. cases in each state, as well as information on how to protect yourself and what to do if you think you are sick. Data on COVID-19 cases and deaths in the United States can be found here. Data on vaccines here.

CDC: COVID Data Tracker and Frequently Asked Questions
To check whether your county has low, moderate, substantial or high transmission, use the CDC’s COVID Data Tracker. The tracker also provides data on vaccination trends by state and jurisdiction. 

World Health Organization 
The WHO provides international travel advice and global situation reports, and answers questions.

COVID-19 global cases, as of March 17, mapped by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

Johns Hopkins University & Medicine
This website includes an interactive map that tracks COVID-19 cases, deaths and vaccine doses across the globe in near real time.

New York Times Coronavirus Tracking
The Times is tracking the number of reported cases, deaths and vaccinations in the United States.

New England Journal of Medicine
The NEJM provides a “collection of articles and other resources on the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, including clinical reports, management guidelines, and commentary.”

 

U.S. Department of Education 
This is a resource page for schools, teachers and other education personnel.

U.S. Department of Labor
The Labor Department provides resources to help workers and employers, including information on unemployment benefits and workplace safety.