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SciCheck’s COVID-19/Vaccination Project

Idaho Doctor Makes Baseless Claims About Safety of COVID-19 Vaccines

Idaho Doctor Makes Baseless Claims About Safety of COVID-19 Vaccines

A viral video features a doctor making dubious claims about COVID-19 vaccines and treatments at a forum hosted by Idaho’s lieutenant governor. Dr. Ryan Cole claims mRNA vaccines cause cancer and autoimmune diseases, but the lead author of the paper on which Cole based that claim told us there is no evidence mRNA vaccines cause those ailments.

What treatments are available for COVID-19?

There are no cures for COVID-19. So far, only a few evidence-based treatments are available.
One is the antiviral drug remdesivir, which received approval from the Food and Drug Administration in October for COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalization. The FDA based its approval on randomized, controlled clinical trials that found faster recovery times and statistically significant odds of improving conditions among patients with mild to severe COVID-19 who received the drug, compared with those who got a placebo plus standard care.

Uganda’s Low COVID-19 Cases Due to Restrictions, Not Hydroxychloroquine

Uganda’s Low COVID-19 Cases Due to Restrictions, Not Hydroxychloroquine

Uganda has had relatively low numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths — but not because of hydroxychloroquine, as an article on social media claims. Uganda’s guidelines initially included the use of the drug as an experimental medication, but studies showed it made no difference. Instead, the country implemented a strict lockdown and mask mandate that has limited the virus’ spread. 

Asthma Medicine Not Proven as COVID-19 ‘Cure’

Asthma Medicine Not Proven as COVID-19 ‘Cure’

A viral headline on Facebook claims that a vaccine isn’t “Needed” for COVID-19 because “There Is Already A Cure.” But the supposed “cure” is an asthma medication, touted by a Texas doctor, that has not yet been proven in clinical trials as an effective treatment for COVID-19 — though researchers are exploring its efficacy.

In Viral Video, Doctor Falsely Touts Hydroxychloroquine as COVID-19 ‘Cure’

In Viral Video, Doctor Falsely Touts Hydroxychloroquine as COVID-19 ‘Cure’

A widely shared video, featuring a doctor falsely claiming hydroxychloroquine is a “cure” for COVID-19, ignited an online storm that resulted in the video being pulled by social media platforms. There is no known cure for COVID-19, and current scientific evidence hasn’t found that hydroxychloroquine is an effective treatment.

Does Vitamin D Protect Against COVID-19?

Does Vitamin D Protect Against COVID-19?

Q: Does vitamin D help protect against COVID-19?

A: Some scientists have hypothesized vitamin D might be helpful, but there is no direct evidence that vitamin D can prevent COVID-19 or lessen disease severity. Nevertheless, it should be part of a healthy lifestyle.

Trump’s False Coronavirus Claim About Lupus Patients

Trump’s False Coronavirus Claim About Lupus Patients

President Donald Trump once again touted hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. This time, the president falsely claimed that “people with lupus” who take hydroxychloroquine “aren’t catching this horrible virus.”

Lemon Juice Tea Does Not Cure COVID-19 in Israel, or Anywhere Else

Lemon Juice Tea Does Not Cure COVID-19 in Israel, or Anywhere Else

A post circulating on social media falsely claims that a blend of sodium bicarbonate and lemon juice tea will “eliminate” the novel coronavirus. The post also claims this “cure” has prevented any COVID-19 deaths in Israel — but more than 30 people have died of the disease there.

No Evidence to Back COVID-19 Ibuprofen Concerns

No Evidence to Back COVID-19 Ibuprofen Concerns

Q: Does ibuprofen make COVID-19 worse?

A: There is no evidence that ibuprofen or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can make COVID-19 cases more severe. You should consult your doctor before changing medications.

Gargling Water With Salt Won’t ‘Eliminate’ Coronavirus

Gargling Water With Salt Won’t ‘Eliminate’ Coronavirus

A viral image circulating online is falsely advising social media users that gargling water with salt or vinegar “eliminates” the coronavirus. There is currently “no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat the new coronavirus,” according to the World Health Organization.