As of 2020, almost 52% of the U.S. population 25 to 34 years old had earned a postsecondary degree — 11th among the 38 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. That statistic conflicts with President Joe Biden’s claim about educational attainment in the U.S.
Afghanistan has implemented a COVID-19 vaccination program and, although administration of vaccines has slowed due to internal armed conflicts, the program is still underway. But some prominent conservative purveyors of misinformation in the U.S. have made false claims about vaccination efforts and the impact of the pandemic in Afghanistan.
An Instagram post highlighted a headline about a non-peer-reviewed study from Israel that found that unvaccinated people previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 had greater immunity against the delta variant than never-infected people fully vaccinated with Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine. But the social media post omitted the study’s other finding that one dose of the vaccine enhanced protection for infection survivors.
Afghan journalists report that a video of a person suspended from a helicopter shows an operation in which the person was trying to change a flag. But critics of President Joe Biden have used the footage to claim the Taliban used U.S. equipment for a “hanging.” One person who shared the claim, Sen. Ted Cruz, later deleted his tweet, saying it “may be inaccurate.”
Eleven American military members were killed in Afghanistan in 2020, including four in combat. But, as the U.S. nears its Aug. 31 deadline for a complete withdrawal from Afghanistan, a social media post falsely claims that there weren’t any American casualties in Afghanistan in the last year-and-a-half of the Trump administration.
Following the deaths of four British Airways pilots and five Air India pilots, social media posts claimed without proof that the pilots died as a result of receiving COVID-19 vaccines. Air India said its pilots died from COVID-19. British Airways said “there is no truth whatsoever in the claims on social media speculating that the four deaths are linked.”
A World Health Organization advisory group has concluded that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine “is suitable for use by people aged 12 years and above,” and is specifically recommending it for children ages 12 to 15 who are at high risk of severe COVID-19. The WHO did not say “stop giving kids the vaxx immediately,” as some have claimed online.
Airlines are encouraging people who have received a COVID-19 vaccine to fly once again. Yet social media posts falsely claim that airline executives around the world are discussing banning vaccinated passengers due to a risk of blood clotting at high altitudes. Experts say there is no evidence of an added risk of blood clots for vaccinated air travelers.