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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

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.

Partisan Claims About Flight Cancellations Lack Evidence

Partisan Claims About Flight Cancellations Lack Evidence

Southwest Airlines’ flight cancellations fueled partisan claims over the weekend that transportation workers were protesting COVID-19 vaccine requirements and causing the cancellations. But there’s no evidence that workers staged protests. The Federal Aviation Administration, the airline and labor unions have all cited other reasons.

COVID-19: The Unvaccinated Pose a Risk to the Vaccinated

COVID-19: The Unvaccinated Pose a Risk to the Vaccinated

Q: How do people who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 pose a risk to people who have been vaccinated?

A: An unvaccinated person who is infected with COVID-19 poses a much greater risk to others who are also unvaccinated. But vaccines are not 100% effective, so there is a chance that an unvaccinated person could infect a vaccinated person — particularly the vulnerable, such as elderly and immunocompromised individuals.

Conservative Outlets Advance Unfounded Theory About Capitol Attack

Conservative Outlets Advance Unfounded Theory About Capitol Attack

There is no evidence that “unindicted co-conspirators” mentioned in federal indictments related to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack are undercover FBI agents or informants, as conservative outlets have claimed or suggested. Legal experts and federal case law say that government agents and informants cannot be labeled conspirators to a crime.

The Wuhan Lab and the Gain-of-Function Disagreement

The Wuhan Lab and the Gain-of-Function Disagreement

A disagreement between Republican Sen. Rand Paul and Dr. Anthony Fauci has put $600,000 of U.S. grant money to the Wuhan Institute of Virology back into the spotlight, while making “gain-of-function” research a household term — all amid calls for more investigation into the origins of SARS-CoV-2.

Tucker Carlson Misrepresents Vaccine Safety Reporting Data

Tucker Carlson Misrepresents Vaccine Safety Reporting Data

The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System accepts any reports of adverse side effects following vaccination to help regulators detect potential problems. Anyone can submit a report, whether or not the incident is vaccine-related. Fox News host Tucker Carlson misrepresented the VAERS data to suggest that thousands have died from COVID-19 vaccines.

Tucker Carlson Misleads on COVID-19 Vaccines, Masks

Tucker Carlson Misleads on COVID-19 Vaccines, Masks

All of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing symptomatic disease. Yet Fox News host Tucker Carlson baselessly casts doubt on the effectiveness of the vaccines, because federal officials urge fully vaccinated people to wear masks in public settings. 

Biden Hasn’t Reduced COVID-19 Testing at the Border

Biden Hasn’t Reduced COVID-19 Testing at the Border

The Biden administration has made no changes to COVID-19 testing policies for either U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement or Customs and Border Patrol. But a claim circulating online falsely suggests that the administration has stopped testing detained immigrants before they are released.