Former Secretary of State Colin Powell died from complications of COVID-19. Although he was fully vaccinated, he was also 84 years old and was a cancer patient who had undergone treatment for multiple myeloma — factors that put him at higher risk of a serious breakthrough illness. His death does not mean the COVID-19 vaccines don’t work, as many social media posts suggest.
Merck and Pfizer are each developing a new oral antiviral drug that might prevent or treat COVID-19. The pills are very different from the antiparasitic medication ivermectin, contrary to claims online that they are “suspiciously similar” or that the companies are “repackaging” ivermectin in a ploy to increase profits.
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.
While some specifics of President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates haven’t been determined, misleading claims about who will be “exempt” have circulated online. Employees at the White House and in agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services are subject to Biden’s executive order requiring federal employees to be vaccinated.
NBA star Bradley Beal made some misleading comments — shared in viral video clips — about the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines. No vaccine is 100% effective, but clinical trials and studies show the COVID-19 vaccines are very effective at preventing illness, particularly serious illness, including for those previously infected, such as Beal.
The Food and Drug Administration says male infertility is not a known side effect of the antiparasitic medication ivermectin. Dubious claims that the drug sterilizes 85% of male users were incorrectly attributed to a questionable 2011 study of the drug’s effect on a small sample of Nigerian men with onchocerciasis, a tropical disease also known as “river blindness.”