A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Social Media Posts Spread Bogus Coronavirus Conspiracy Theory

Social Media Posts Spread Bogus Coronavirus Conspiracy Theory

Multiple social media posts are spreading a bogus conspiracy theory about the deadly Wuhan virus. The posts falsely claim that the virus has been patented and a vaccine is already available. That’s not true; the patents the posts refer to pertain to different viruses.

Q&A on the FDA’s Flavored E-Cig Policy

Q&A on the FDA’s Flavored E-Cig Policy

The Trump administration announced a new policy that will soon forbid the sale of some, but not all, flavored vapes. We explain the new policy and review the scientific evidence on whether e-cigarettes are likely to have a positive or negative impact on public health.

Trump Takes Undue Credit for Cancer Progress

Trump Takes Undue Credit for Cancer Progress

President Donald Trump boasted of the lowest cancer death rate on record, and implied that his administration was responsible for the achievement. While he’s right about the statistic, the improved death rate is the result of decades-long efforts on cancer prevention, detection and treatment.

Biden Exaggerates Science on Burn Pits and Brain Cancer

Biden Exaggerates Science on Burn Pits and Brain Cancer

Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden claimed without evidence that “more people are coming home from Iraq with brain cancer” than “any other war,” and blamed burn pits for the purported increase. But existing statistics do not bear that out, and the evidence on the cancer risk of burn pits is inconclusive.

Trump Mocks Global Warming, Lowballs Sea Level Rise

Trump Mocks Global Warming, Lowballs Sea Level Rise

President Donald Trump mocked concerns about global warming, saying that oceans would rise just “[o]ne-eighth of an inch within the next 250 years.” Although he may have been joking, his figure is many times lower than scientific estimates.

Unpacking Sanders’ ‘Climate Refugee’ Statistic

Unpacking Sanders’ ‘Climate Refugee’ Statistic

In the last Democratic debate, Sen. Bernie Sanders said that the United Nations is projecting “hundreds of millions of climate refugees” in the “years to come” as a result of climate change. The U.N., however, doesn’t currently endorse a particular estimate.

Trump Again Misunderstands California’s Wildfires

Trump Again Misunderstands California’s Wildfires

For the second year in a row, President Donald Trump inaccurately attributed California’s rash of wildfires to poor forest management. He also falsely said other states don’t have “close to the level of burn” as California.

What Does Science Say About the Need for Nuclear?

What Does Science Say About the Need for Nuclear?

Sen. Bernie Sanders has said “scientists tell us” that it’s possible to go carbon neutral without relying on nuclear power. Fellow Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker, who backs the use of some nuclear energy, has said the data is on his side. Who’s right? Both have a point, but neither is telling the full story.

Instagram Post Falsely Links Flu Vaccine to Polio

Instagram Post Falsely Links Flu Vaccine to Polio

A popular Instagram post falsely claims “over 1,100 people died from reactions to the [flu] shot” in 2018, and suggests that the immunization gave some children polio. The flu vaccine cannot give anyone polio and there is no evidence to support the 1,100 figure.

Trump Bends the Facts on Lightbulbs

Trump Bends the Facts on Lightbulbs

President Donald Trump has repeatedly criticized energy-efficient lightbulbs, saying that the bulbs people are “being forced to use” are more expensive, contain hazardous gases and give off light that’s “not as good” as incandescents. Experts, however, say that’s an outdated and inaccurate description of the current technology.