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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Researcher Distorts Facts on COVID-19 Vaccine Approval, Liability

Researcher Distorts Facts on COVID-19 Vaccine Approval, Liability

The Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration, though an emergency use authorization also remains in place. Dr. Robert Malone misleadingly said Americans are being offered the shot only under the latter and that it carried different liability ramifications. The liability protections, afforded under a public health law, are the same for the two.

Chiropractor Again Peddles False, Misleading COVID-19 Claims

Chiropractor Again Peddles False, Misleading COVID-19 Claims

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.

Charlie Kirk Misleads on White House Vaccine Policy

Charlie Kirk Misleads on White House Vaccine Policy

Federal employees — including at the White House — must attest to being vaccinated against COVID-19, or else comply with routine testing and mitigation measures. But conservative commentator Charlie Kirk claims that the “White House staff is not required to be vaccinated,” baselessly questioning if undisclosed concerns about the vaccines are at play.

Sequencing Used to Identify Delta, Other Coronavirus Variants

Sequencing Used to Identify Delta, Other Coronavirus Variants

Researchers use genomic sequencing — not the clinical tests used to diagnose patients with COVID-19 — to identify and track specific variants of the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, including the highly contagious delta variant. But viral posts try to deny the existence of the variant by misleadingly claiming there is “no ‘Delta Variant’ test.”

Flawed Variant Information Fuels Baseless COVID-19 Theory

Flawed Variant Information Fuels Baseless COVID-19 Theory

A conspiracy theory online baselessly suggests that the World Health Organization and other groups preplanned the variants of the novel coronavirus — citing a dubious timeline. But the timeline doesn’t square with the reality of when variants have been identified and designated thus far.

Viral Posts Misrepresent CDC Announcement on COVID-19 PCR Test

Viral Posts Misrepresent CDC Announcement on COVID-19 PCR Test

Scientists consider polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, tests a highly reliable tool for diagnosing COVID-19. But social media posts are misrepresenting a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announcement regarding the eventual discontinuation of its own test, falsely claiming the government has conceded that PCR tests aren’t reliable.

Businessman’s Social Media Post Distorts Facts on Definition of a Pandemic

Businessman’s Social Media Post Distorts Facts on Definition of a Pandemic

A businessman’s post on Instagram and Facebook wrongly claims that the U.S. government “changed the definition of pandemic” in 2004, suggesting that COVID-19 would not have qualified under the old definition. There’s no evidence for those claims — and COVID-19 is by all means a pandemic.

Photo Shows 2018 France World Cup Celebration, Not Vaccine Protest

Photo Shows 2018 France World Cup Celebration, Not Vaccine Protest

Social media posts are misrepresenting an old photo from France by suggesting the sea of people in the streets shows “[p]eople are waking up against vaccine tyranny.” The photo actually shows a celebration in Paris after France won the 2018 World Cup.

Research Rebuts Claims Linking COVID-19 Vaccines to Male Infertility

Research Rebuts Claims Linking COVID-19 Vaccines to Male Infertility

A new study found there was no negative effect on sperm levels in men after receiving the COVID-19 vaccines, undercutting suggestions that the shots affect male fertility. But social media posts have made the baseless claim that vaccinated men “are effectively sterile.”

Viral Video Misleadingly Questions Safety of Nasal Swabs

Viral Video Misleadingly Questions Safety of Nasal Swabs

A chemical widely used to sterilize medical devices is also used for nasal swabs in COVID-19 testing. But a viral video misleadingly suggests that the swabs are dangerous — saying that the chemical causes cancer and can alter DNA. Experts say the chemical’s use in this context does not pose a threat to human health.