Dr. Anthony Fauci has announced that in December he will step down from his positions as chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden and as head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and its laboratory of immunoregulation. Here are some of the false and misleading claims about Fauci, his work and his public health guidance that we have written about since the coronavirus pandemic began in 2020.
After Congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act, which includes funding to increase staff at the IRS, social media posts falsely claimed members of Congress “voted to exempt themselves from IRS auditing of their personal finances.” An IRS spokesperson told us “there is no such special exemption,” and we found no such vote had been taken.
Studies have repeatedly found that COVID-19 vaccination does not increase the risk of miscarriage. Bogus claims that 44% of pregnant women in the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine trial miscarried rely on a faulty tally of miscarriages that counted each miscarriage twice and included miscarriages from people in the placebo group.
In a 2012 documentary, Magic Johnson discussed his HIV diagnosis and how it has affected his career. Social media posts are sharing an image from the documentary to falsely claim it shows Johnson donating blood for people with COVID-19. Johnson hasn’t donated HIV-infected blood for any medical reason.
The IRS Criminal Investigation division’s “Adrian Project” educates the public about the IRS through community outreach sessions with high school and college students. Posts on social media are sharing a video from one of the sessions to falsely claim it shows agents in training. The images were posted by a New Jersey university in 2017 and earlier this year.
Wastewater surveillance is a public health tool that can track the spread of pathogens. The virus that causes polio was detected in New York City sewage as part of such monitoring efforts. Social media posts, however, have incorrectly claimed the virus was found in tap water. Similar claims have been made about the monkeypox virus.
The Inflation Reduction Act includes $79 billion for the IRS. Social media posts misleadingly claim the IRS will now hire “87,000 new agents” to investigate average citizens. But most new hires will provide customer services, and enforcement efforts will be aimed at “high-income and corporate tax evaders,” a Treasury Department spokesperson said.
President Joe Biden and members of his administration have touted the falling gasoline prices, suggesting that the decrease was because of the president’s policies. But U.S. presidents have little control over the price that consumers pay for gasoline. We look at the reasons for the decline in gasoline prices.