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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Viral Posts Don’t Give Full Picture of Mask Mandates in States

Viral Posts Don’t Give Full Picture of Mask Mandates in States

Viral Facebook posts misleadingly claim that Florida, Georgia, Idaho, South Dakota and Tennessee have become “mask free.” None has a statewide mask mandate — but individual cities and counties in each of those states do have orders requiring face coverings to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. 

FactChecking Biden’s Town Hall

FactChecking Biden’s Town Hall

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden answered questions from the public in a CNN town hall, but he got some facts wrong and misled on others.

Posts Take Old Photos of Biden, Harris Out of Context

Posts Take Old Photos of Biden, Harris Out of Context

Facebook posts are using out-of-context photos to suggest Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, are not abiding by public health recommendations regarding face masks. The photos are from early March, before face masks were recommended by federal health officials.

Face Masks Don’t Cause Legionnaires’ Disease

Face Masks Don’t Cause Legionnaires’ Disease

A viral social media post is spreading the falsehood that wearing a face mask to slow the spread of COVID-19 could cause Legionnaires’ disease. But Legionnaires’ disease is caused by bacteria that festers mostly in warm, standing water, not in human saliva.

Video Misrepresents the Science Behind Face Masks

Video Misrepresents the Science Behind Face Masks

A viral video misrepresents scientific papers and the reasons for wearing face masks to claim that they are ineffective in mitigating transmission of COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that masks may help prevent the spread of the disease.

‘Face Mask Exempt Card’ Isn’t Legitimate

‘Face Mask Exempt Card’ Isn’t Legitimate

A “face mask exempt card” shared on social media invokes the Americans with Disabilities Act and claims to excuse people from wearing face masks. But the group behind the card — “Freedom to Breathe Agency” — is not a government agency, and federal officials say the ADA “does not provide a blanket exemption” from requirements to wear masks.

Meme Misconstrues Efficacy of Face Masks in Spread of COVID-19

Meme Misconstrues Efficacy of Face Masks in Spread of COVID-19

A meme suggesting that face masks are useless against COVID-19 has been circulating online. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing a face covering in public since the virus is transmitted mostly through droplets produced when people cough, sneeze and talk.

Video Presents Flawed Test on Masks, Oxygen Levels

Video Presents Flawed Test on Masks, Oxygen Levels

A viral video questions the safety of face masks by using a gas detector to purportedly show that masks result in dangerous oxygen levels for the wearer. But experts — and the company that makes the gas detector — say the video’s test is scientifically flawed.

Mailbag: Face Masks

A reader sent us a comment about our article on the research behind face masks and whether people who aren’t sick should use them to limit the spread of COVID-19.