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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

COVID-19 Vaccines Have Prevented Deaths, Contrary to Misleading Graphic on Social Media

COVID-19 Vaccines Have Prevented Deaths, Contrary to Misleading Graphic on Social Media

Studies have shown that COVID-19 vaccines have prevented severe disease and deaths. But bogus claims that they don’t work continue to circulate online. One claim relies on a misleading graph showing cumulative deaths in the U.S., but omits information about the number of deaths among the vaccinated versus unvaccinated since the shots became available.

Former Presidents Are Not Allowed to Take Home Official Records

Former Presidents Are Not Allowed to Take Home Official Records

The National Archives recovered 15 boxes of materials from former President Donald Trump’s time in office. Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, claimed that the law allowed Trump to “take documents when he left the White House.” But a former president isn’t allowed to take possession of official records, which Trump has said these are.

U.S. COVID-19 Vaccines Follow Conventional Health Standards and Protocols

U.S. COVID-19 Vaccines Follow Conventional Health Standards and Protocols

Clinical and real-world studies have shown that the COVID-19 vaccines are effective in preventing serious disease, and there is a long history of vaccine requirements in the U.S. But a list of bogus claims, shared around the world in recent months, falsely attributes unique characteristics and requirements to COVID-19 vaccines.

Posts About ‘Cross Reactants’ Misrepresent Accuracy of COVID-19 PCR Tests

Posts About ‘Cross Reactants’ Misrepresent Accuracy of COVID-19 PCR Tests

Polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, tests for COVID-19 are highly accurate. People on social media, however, are circulating lists of germs that they baselessly claim will cause such tests to be falsely positive. In reality, it’s the opposite. The lists include pathogens that have been tested by the manufacturers and did not react to the test.

Partisans Seize on Edited Clip of CDC Director’s Comments on COVID-19 Vaccine Effectiveness

Partisans Seize on Edited Clip of CDC Director’s Comments on COVID-19 Vaccine Effectiveness

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, discussed a recent study that found that on the rare occasion when fully vaccinated people died from COVID-19, they often had multiple risk factors for severe disease. But her reference to vaccinated people was cut in a version of the interview — and conservative figures misleadingly claimed she was talking about all COVID-19 deaths.

Jan. 6 Conspiracy Theory Centers on Baseless Claim About Ray Epps

Jan. 6 Conspiracy Theory Centers on Baseless Claim About Ray Epps

James Ray Epps was at the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021. But there is no evidence that he was an FBI plant assigned to instigate the riot, as a conspiracy theory — embraced by at least two members of Congress — claims. There is evidence, however, that Epps once held a leadership role in the Oath Keepers, some of whose members have been charged in the attack.

COVID-19 Far More Lethal Than a Cold, Contrary to Suggestion in Viral Video

COVID-19 Far More Lethal Than a Cold, Contrary to Suggestion in Viral Video

COVID-19 has killed more than 805,000 people in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yet a viral video on social media suggests the disease is the same as a “common cold.” COVID-19 is in the same family of some cold viruses, but its potential for a severe outcome — including death — is much higher than for the common cold.

Article Makes Unfounded Claims Linking Athletes’ Injuries, Deaths to Vaccines

Article Makes Unfounded Claims Linking Athletes’ Injuries, Deaths to Vaccines

Many U.S. athletes have been vaccinated against COVID-19 without any adverse effects. But a conservative outlet has cited a list of supposedly vaccine-injured athletes to claim “there may be something wrong with the vaccine.” There’s no proof that the listed athletes — most of them are actually retired — were harmed by the vaccines.

Social Media Posts Misrepresent Old Biden Tweet on Travel Ban

Social Media Posts Misrepresent Old Biden Tweet on Travel Ban

President Joe Biden restricted travel from eight African nations on Nov. 26 to slow the spread of the omicron variant. Conservative commentators have misleadingly cited a Biden tweet from last year to claim he was critical of “the same travel ban” implemented by then-President Donald Trump. But that tweet was about a Trump immigration order directed at predominantly Muslim countries.