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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Counting Mail-In Ballots Delays Results, But Doesn’t Denote Fraud

Counting Mail-In Ballots Delays Results, But Doesn’t Denote Fraud

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.

States Determine School Immunization Requirements, Not CDC

States Determine School Immunization Requirements, Not CDC

Vaccines are added to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s immunization schedule after consultation with an outside advisory group and when the benefits outweigh the risks. Contrary to claims from Tucker Carlson and others, the COVID-19 vaccines will not become mandatory in schools just by being added to the CDC schedule. States and local districts make those determinations.

Fetterman’s Tattoos Under Scrutiny in Pennsylvania Senate Race

Fetterman’s Tattoos Under Scrutiny in Pennsylvania Senate Race

John Fetterman, Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor who is running for the U.S. Senate, has tattoos on his arms, some of which memorialize victims of violence. But conservative pundits — including Newt Gingrich — claim, without proof, that his tattoos suggest drug use and ties to a violent street gang.

Misrepresentation of Germany’s Data on Unverified COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects

Misrepresentation of Germany’s Data on Unverified COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects

Viral claims have repeatedly misrepresented unverified data from a U.S. vaccine safety system that encourages reports of any potential side effects — whether they’re likely to be caused by the vaccine or not. Now we’re seeing the same phenomenon with a similar system in Germany. Some have wrongly claimed Germany found the COVID-19 vaccine caused “serious side effects” in a large number of people.

‘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. 

Unfounded Claims About Frequency and Causes of Food Plant Fires

Unfounded Claims About Frequency and Causes of Food Plant Fires

Data on the number fires at food-processing plants in 2022 “does not signal anything out of the ordinary,” according to the National Fire Protection Association. Despite no evidence of foul play, unfounded rumors from conservative pundits suggest a rash of “mysterious fires” may be part of a plan to disrupt the food supply.

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.

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.