Fact Checks

Social media posts falsely attribute coronavirus comments to Fauci
Social media posts shared thousands of times attribute comments describing the dangers of the coronavirus and criticizing those who do not take it seriously to Dr. Anthony Fauci. This is false; the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases -- which Fauci heads -- said he has “never used” some of the language the comments contain, and a Facebook user said she authored the original version.

Joe Biden’s stance on fracking targeted in misleading political ad
A video ad on Facebook claims that Joe Biden will abolish fracking and cause the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs if elected president of the United States. This is misleading; Biden’s remarks have been sharply edited, and he has said that he does not intend to ban fracking, but will not support new projects in the industry.

COVID-19 Testing Truck Logo Depicts an Aardvark, Not Death Deity
A popular post on social media pages for conspiracy theorists claims that a mobile COVID-19 testing station bears a logo that depicts an ancient deity of death. It actually shows an aardvark, which is the name of the company that designs and manufactures the trucks.

Obama did not sign law used to authorize federal force in Portland
Social media posts shared thousands of times claim President Donald Trump’s deployment of federal officers to Portland, Oregon, where camouflaged agents are accused of abuses against protesters, was made possible by a law signed by his predecessor Barack Obama. This is false; the agencies responsible say they are operating under a long-standing provision to protect federal property, and legal experts dubbed such claims “crazy” and foolish.

Video Misrepresents the Science Behind Face Masks
A viral video misrepresents scientific papers and the reasons for wearing face masks to claim that they are ineffective in mitigating transmission of COVID-19. But it doesn’t report either facts or science. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that masks may help prevent the spread of the disease.

What Science Says About Children, COVID-19 and School Reopenings
  • Adm. Brett Giroir, the coronavirus task force lead on testing, said on July 12 that studies in other countries show “young children do not seem to spread the virus” and “don’t get sick.” Children are very rarely seriously ill, but they do get sick. And while some studies indicate young children may not transmit the virus as readily as adults, it remains an unsettled issue.
  • Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos the same day said “there’s nothing in the data that suggests that kids being in school is in any way dangerous.” That’s an exaggeration. Much of the evidence suggests schools can be reopened relatively safely, but there have been outbreaks linked to schools.