An increase in pandemic restrictions in Germany sparked a protest at a market, where a man dressed as Santa Claus was briefly detained. Online posts falsely claimed he was arrested for not wearing a mask. But police said he was detained for participating in an unregistered protest.
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.
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 Update: The paper was retracted.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.
Multiple lines of evidence back the use of face masks to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
Lab tests, for example, show that masks can partially block exhaled respiratory droplets, which are thought to be the primary way the virus spreads. Analyses of people who came into contact with those with COVID-19 have also found mask-wearing to be associated with a reduced risk of contracting the virus. Numerous studies similarly document an association between self-reported mask wearing and control of the virus in a community or the implementation of a mask mandate and a subsequent decline in COVID-19 cases.