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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center
SciCheck’s COVID-19/Vaccination Project

‘WHO Has No Authority to Dictate U.S. Health Policy’

‘WHO Has No Authority to Dictate U.S. Health Policy’

The World Health Organization can make recommendations after the declaration of a global emergency, but it has no control over any nation’s decisions. Yet conservatives in the U.S. falsely claim that amendments proposed by the Biden administration to existing global health regulations, and a new WHO pandemic treaty, will threaten U.S. sovereignty. 

Fauci Continues Making Public Appearances and Hasn’t ‘Disappeared’

Fauci Continues Making Public Appearances and Hasn’t ‘Disappeared’

Dr. Anthony Fauci has continued making public appearances, although news coverage has largely shifted away from the pandemic since Russia invaded Ukraine in February and COVID-19 cases have dramatically fallen. Some politicians and pundits, however, have suggested that Fauci has become so unpopular that he has “disappeared” from public view. He hasn’t. Fauci has made at least a dozen public appearances since Feb. 15.

Facebook Post Misleads on NIH’s Position on Ivermectin

Facebook Post Misleads on NIH’s Position on Ivermectin

The National Institutes of Health has not recommended and the Food and Drug Administration has not approved ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment. But a Facebook post misleadingly implies that an article published on the NIH website is an endorsement of the drug to treat COVID-19. The NIH and FDA have said more clinical studies are needed.  

COVID-19 Booster Enhances Protection, Contrary to ‘Immune Fatigue’ Claims

COVID-19 Booster Enhances Protection, Contrary to ‘Immune Fatigue’ Claims

A COVID-19 booster dose increases protection against the coronavirus. But in an interview, comedian Bill Maher incorrectly said COVID-19 booster shots were “useless” and could cause “immune system fatigue.” Online, others have made similar claims. There is no basis for the notion that the immune system would tire out, even after repeated boosters.

DeSantis Misleads on Omicron-Resistant COVID-19 Antibody Treatments

DeSantis Misleads on Omicron-Resistant COVID-19 Antibody Treatments

After the Food and Drug Administration pulled its authorization of two COVID-19 antibody drugs because the treatments are highly unlikely to work against the omicron variant, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida misleadingly claimed the decision had been made “without a shred of clinical data” to support it. There may not be data from patients, but lab studies strongly suggest the treatments will not help omicron-infected people.

Partisans Seize on Edited Clip of CDC Director’s Comments on COVID-19 Vaccine Effectiveness

Partisans Seize on Edited Clip of CDC Director’s Comments on COVID-19 Vaccine Effectiveness

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, discussed a recent study that found that on the rare occasion when fully vaccinated people died from COVID-19, they often had multiple risk factors for severe disease. But her reference to vaccinated people was cut in a version of the interview — and conservative figures misleadingly claimed she was talking about all COVID-19 deaths.

Social Media Posts Misrepresent Old Biden Tweet on Travel Ban

Social Media Posts Misrepresent Old Biden Tweet on Travel Ban

President Joe Biden restricted travel from eight African nations on Nov. 26 to slow the spread of the omicron variant. Conservative commentators have misleadingly cited a Biden tweet from last year to claim he was critical of “the same travel ban” implemented by then-President Donald Trump. But that tweet was about a Trump immigration order directed at predominantly Muslim countries.

Colorado Order Addresses Surge in Hospitalizations, Not Vaccination Status

Colorado Order Addresses Surge in Hospitalizations, Not Vaccination Status

Responding to a surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed an executive order on Oct. 31 allowing hospitals that are at or near capacity to transfer or stop admitting patients. Social media posts falsely claimed the order says hospitals can “refuse to treat the unvaccinated.” But the order doesn’t mention vaccination status.

Posts Misrepresent Data to Falsely Claim Italy Reduced Its COVID-19 Death Count

Posts Misrepresent Data to Falsely Claim Italy Reduced Its COVID-19 Death Count

The vast majority of people who have died with COVID-19 had other medical conditions that put them at risk of severe disease, or other conditions caused by COVID-19. But internet posts misinterpret data about those conditions to falsely claim that Italy has reduced its count of COVID-19 deaths. It hasn’t.