COVID-19 vaccines substantially reduce the risk of dying from COVID-19, and serious side effects are very rare. Excess deaths among working-age adults in 2021 and 2022 were due to COVID-19 and other factors, not vaccination. Faulty logic underlies claims that vaccines caused mass disability and economic harm.
The Facts on Manhattan Crime
The Republican-led House Judiciary Committee plans to hold a “field hearing” in Manhattan on April 17 to draw attention to “how Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s pro-crime, anti-victim policies have led to an increase in violent crime.” Experts told us it was unlikely Bragg had or could have an impact on crime trends, and crime data for Manhattan don’t match the GOP narrative.
Bogus Claim Targets Bud Light Partnership with Transgender Influencer
Bud Light partnered with a transgender social media influencer for a promotion during the NCAA March Madness tournament. Social media users responded with the false claim that the CEO of the company had resigned following a conservative backlash to the partnership. The claim originated in a fabricated article on a satirical website.
Q&A on the Medication Abortion Court Rulings
More than half of abortions in the U.S. are medication abortions, done early in pregnancies. But federal court rulings have raised questions about the future availability of mifepristone, the first of the two-drug combination used in those abortions. Here we answer questions about the court rulings, mifepristone and what may happen next.
Fewer Cases of Flu Due to Pandemic Precautions, Contrary to Viral Claim
Public health organizations have explained that the reason there were far fewer cases of the flu in 2020 and 2021 was likely due to measures adopted to slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, such as handwashing and social distancing. But a post on social media has spread the false claim that the dip in flu cases suggests that COVID-19 was a hoax.
Posts Make Misleading Claims About Bill to Protect LGBTQ+ Events in Ontario
Four members of a minority party in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario introduced a bill on April 4 that would create temporary community safety zones around drag performance venues to prevent “acts of intimidation.” But online posts misleadingly claimed Canada has already passed a law that “made it illegal to protest against” the LGBTQ+ community.
Posts Exaggerate Lab Findings About COVID-19’s Impact on Immune System
Outside of long COVID or very severe cases, most research suggests COVID-19 doesn’t cause lasting damage to the immune system. A few studies have found evidence of some possible damage, but nothing as severe as an immunodeficiency. People on social media, however, are misinterpreting a recent study to incorrectly claim COVID-19 is HIV-like.
Posts Distort Possible Sentencing for Trump in Manhattan Indictment
Former President Donald Trump pleaded not guilty on April 4 to a 34-count indictment charging him with falsifying business records to conceal alleged hush money payments. Social media posts misleadingly claim Trump is “facing up to 30+ years” in prison if convicted. But legal experts said it is unlikely Trump would serve any time in prison.
Biden’s 2022 Remarks Not Related to Trump Indictment, Contrary to Online Posts
Social media posts and former President Donald Trump are sharing an edited video of President Joe Biden to make the unfounded claim that Biden “is coordinating these Trump indictments.” Biden’s comments, made in 2022, were related to international concerns about American democracy, not Trump’s legal battles.
Early Release of ‘QAnon Shaman’ Due to Plea and Prison Protocols, Contrary to Online Claims
Jacob Chansley, also known as the “QAnon Shaman,” was sentenced to 41 months in prison for participating in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol, but he was released early to a halfway house on March 28 because of his plea agreement and prison protocols. Social media posts falsely claim that his release was due to videos shown by Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson.