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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Flawed Analysis Leads to False Claim of ‘No Excess Deaths’ in 2020

Flawed Analysis Leads to False Claim of ‘No Excess Deaths’ in 2020

An economics professor’s flawed interpretation of U.S. mortality data has prompted a viral, false claim that COVID-19 hasn’t led to more deaths than normal this year. In fact, multiple analyses have found there to be a higher-than-normal number of deaths during the pandemic — as much as 20%, according to some studies.

Meme Distorts Facts on Annual Death Statistics

Meme Distorts Facts on Annual Death Statistics

An image circulating on social media erroneously claims that the total number of deaths in the U.S. this year is significantly down compared to previous years. The meme — which implies COVID-19 restrictions weren’t needed — actually uses an incomplete figure for 2020 and makes a flawed comparison.

Paul Misleads on Natural Infection and COVID-19 Vaccines

Paul Misleads on Natural Infection and COVID-19 Vaccines

In a tweet, Sen. Rand Paul misleadingly suggested that immunity from “[n]aturally acquired” COVID-19 was better than that from a vaccine. But it’s not known how immunity from the two sources compares — and the entire point of a vaccine is to offer immunity without the risk of getting sick.

Loeffler-Warnock Runoff Starts with Attack Ads

Loeffler-Warnock Runoff Starts with Attack Ads

About a week after Georgia’s special election headed to a runoff, Sen. Kelly Loeffler, a Republican, and Rev. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat, both launched questionable attacks that the other candidate has disputed.

Opening Ads in the Perdue-Ossoff Runoff

Opening Ads in the Perdue-Ossoff Runoff

In the first TV ads of the runoff campaign that could help decide the balance of the Senate, Republican Sen. David Perdue warned his opponent would “radically change America,” while Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff accused his opponent of downplaying the coronavirus.

Pennsylvania Voters Told to Quarantine Can Still Cast a Ballot

Pennsylvania Voters Told to Quarantine Can Still Cast a Ballot

Pennsylvania voters told to quarantine due to potential COVID-19 exposure are entitled to vote and can request and return an emergency absentee ballot through 8 p.m. on Election Day. A viral Facebook post misleadingly suggests they are being disenfranchised.

Trump’s Partisan Spin on Reopening States

Trump’s Partisan Spin on Reopening States

President Trump falsely contrasted COVID-19 policies in two Western states, claiming Republican-led Arizona is open but Democratic-led Nevada is closed. Both states are in similar stages of reopening.