COVID-19 vaccines are generally safe and have not killed 17 million people worldwide, contrary to claims amplified by podcaster Bret Weinstein during an interview with Tucker Carlson. Weinstein also inaccurately characterized a proposed World Health Organization pandemic accord and other changes, claiming they aim to take away “personal and national sovereignty.”
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin III reportedly told House members that failure to provide more aid for Ukraine could lead to Russia’s invasion of a NATO ally and a direct U.S. military response in accordance with the NATO treaty. A viral post by Tucker Carlson misleadingly omits Austin’s explanation of why U.S. troops might be required.
The police officer who kept his knee on George Floyd’s neck for about nine minutes in 2020 was convicted of murder, and the medical examiner determined that police efforts to subdue Floyd caused his death. Nothing about the autopsy’s findings have changed, but social media posts falsely claim new documents show Floyd died of a drug overdose or natural causes.
Immigrants who come to the U.S. without authorization have very limited access to government benefits. But an old falsehood revived by conservatives conflates aid given to authorized refugees with the limited assistance available to immigrants who entered the country illegally. The claim also inflates the benefits given to refugees.
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.
On Jan. 6, 2021, about 140 police officers were assaulted during the Capitol riot, and 326 participants — more than 100 armed with weapons — have been charged. But Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson has used recently released video from that day to misleadingly minimize the violence at the riot and to distort the actions of the police.
Scientists say the experiments Pfizer has performed on the coronavirus are standard for the industry. Baseless claims that the company is mutating the virus for profit, however, have been circulating since the release of a popular undercover video from the conservative activist group Project Veritas.
The derailment of a freight train carrying toxic chemicals in eastern Ohio has sparked a slew of unfounded claims by conservative commentators. There’s no indication that this incident will rise to the level of a “domestic Chernobyl”; it has been covered steadily by the media; federal and state agencies are monitoring air and water quality and its impact on people and animals.
Mail-in ballots have become a popular way to vote in the U.S. But the unfounded claim persists that mail ballots lead to rampant fraud and, if counted after Election Day, they are suspect. By law, many states don’t start counting mail ballots until after polls close, and some continue to accept them for days after Election Day if they are postmarked by that date.