Fact Checks

US was not the only country to end slavery
Facebook posts shared thousands of times claim that the United States was the only country to end slavery. This is false; experts say multiple countries banned the practice in the 19th century, and one historian called the claim “absurd.”

US social media users still mischaracterize Canada’s COVID-19 aid
A text outlining Canada’s alleged response to the coronavirus pandemic with lengthy school shutdowns and universal relief payments was shared thousands of times in the US. The claims are misleading; schools are expected to reopen in September, only individuals directly affected by COVID-19 are eligible for financial aid, mortgage relief is granted by banks on a case-by-case basis, and rent is still due.

FactChecking Trump’s COVID-19 Press Briefing
  • Trump falsely said that “large portions” of the country are “corona-free.” Only 35 counties or county equivalents, accounting for less than 0.02% of the population, have not reported a coronavirus case in the past week.
  • he president claimed, without evidence, that Portland and Seattle were seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases because of protests. The health departments for both areas told us that the available data do not show that protests are responsible for an uptick in cases.
  • Trump said he didn’t know Dr. Anthony Fauci’s position on hydroxychloroquine, the antimalarial drug that the president has claimed, contrary to scientific evidence, is effective against COVID-19. In fact, Fauci has said — at briefings attended by Trump — that there is no evidence that hydroxychloroquine works for COVID-19.

Smoking had been identified as a causative factor for lung cancer by 1958, US health authority says
Multiple Facebook posts shared hundreds of times claim that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated in 1958 that smoking did not cause cancer. The claim is false; by 1958, the US government’s stance was that smoking was a causative factor to lung cancer; a keyword search for the purported statement from the CDC yielded no results.