Managing Editor Lori Robertson discussed several of our recent SciCheck articles on the public radio show “Conversations on Health Care.”
Thousands of pages of redacted emails to and from Dr. Anthony Fauci are now publicly available, thanks to journalists’ Freedom of Information Act requests. Some of those messages have been distorted in viral posts, particularly about face masks, the origins of the coronavirus and the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine.
Stanford Medicine says it “strongly supports the use of face masks to control the spread of COVID-19.” Yet viral stories falsely claim a “Stanford study” showed that face masks are unsafe and ineffective against COVID-19. The paper is a hypothesis, not a study, from someone with no current affiliation with Stanford. Update: The paper was retracted.
A study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that state-issued mask mandates were associated with significant decreases in daily COVID-19 case and death growth rates. Yet some conservative outlets and social media users falsely claim the study shows mask mandates have a negligible impact on COVID-19 outcomes.
Headlines shared on social media distort the facts of a recent order by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that mandates face masks be worn on public transportation. The order doesn’t require that individuals wear two masks. CDC guidance issued with the order does say that cloth masks should be made of at least two layers.