A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Birx Spins ‘Extraordinarily Low Numbers’ of Coronavirus Cases

Birx Spins ‘Extraordinarily Low Numbers’ of Coronavirus Cases

Dr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, misleadingly claimed that 19 states — “almost 40% of the country” — “have less than 200 cases” of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. In fact, 17 states with 7.2% of the U.S. population have fewer than 200 confirmed cases each.

Coronavirus Hasn’t Contaminated Crab Legs

Coronavirus Hasn’t Contaminated Crab Legs

A viral post disguised as a TV news report falsely claims that crab legs have been contaminated with the novel coronavirus. The pandemic has affected the flow of seafood from foreign markets, but crab is safe to eat.

Video: Trump’s Exaggerated COVID-19 Drug Claims

Video: Trump’s Exaggerated COVID-19 Drug Claims

In this video, we look at President Donald Trump’s misleading claim that there’s “very strong evidence” to support his hope that a malaria drug can treat COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. 

Trump’s Misleading Ventilator Counter-Punch at Cuomo

Trump’s Misleading Ventilator Counter-Punch at Cuomo

Hitting back at New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s pleas for the federal government to provide more ventilators, President Donald Trump misleadingly claimed Cuomo rejected a 2015 recommendation to purchase 15,000 ventilators and instead “established death panels” and “lotteries.”

Trump’s Faulty Testing Claims

Trump’s Faulty Testing Claims

President Donald Trump and coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said the United States had done more testing for COVID-19 infections in eight days than South Korea had done in eight weeks, but that ignores the fact that South Korea has a much smaller population. On a per-capita basis, the U.S. lags behind the Asian country, and other nations.

False Claim of Congressional Pay Raises in Stimulus Bill

False Claim of Congressional Pay Raises in Stimulus Bill

Facebook posts falsely claim that House Democrats included $25 million to boost their own salaries in their proposal for the coronavirus-related stimulus package. That funding is not for legislators’ pay increases; it’s also in the bill being advanced by the Republican-controlled Senate.

Trump’s Suspect Spanish Flu Claims

Trump’s Suspect Spanish Flu Claims

President Donald Trump recently said “close to 100 million people died” from the 1918 Spanish flu, and that “if you got it you had a 50/50 chance, or very close, of dying.” But 100 million is a high-end estimate of global deaths from that influenza pandemic, and we found no evidence the case fatality rate for those who had it was 50%.

Trump Hypes Potential COVID-19 Drugs, But Evidence So Far Is Slim

Trump Hypes Potential COVID-19 Drugs, But Evidence So Far Is Slim

President Donald Trump has enthusiastically pushed the use of two malaria drugs — one in combination with an antibiotic — to treat COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. But there is currently only limited evidence to suggest the drugs are effective against the new virus.

Posts Distort Facts on Coronavirus Air Transmission, Masks

Posts Distort Facts on Coronavirus Air Transmission, Masks

Facebook posts make the unsubstantiated suggestion that the novel coronavirus is infectious in the air for “8 hrs,” and falsely claim that “everyone is required to wear mask everywhere!” There is also no requirement for healthy people to wear masks; experts say health care workers need them most.