FactCheck.org Science Editor Jessica McDonald fielded questions about second COVID-19 booster shots and the possible return of Philadelphia’s mask mandate in a recent interview that aired on several of that city’s iHeartRadio stations.
The delta variant of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is more transmissible than previous forms of the virus, and has helped spur an increase in cases, including in children. But a chiropractor in a Facebook video wrongly claims that “it is not showing more of a problem.” That’s one of several misleading and false claims he makes about COVID-19.
In a viral video, an Indiana physician baselessly claimed that the COVID-19 vaccines, which have been shown to be safe and effective, “fight the virus wrong and let the virus become worse than it would with native infection.” He also incorrectly said no vaccine prevents infection and contended that people previously infected with COVID-19 do not benefit from vaccination, despite studies that suggest otherwise.
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 Update: The paper was retracted.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.