Fact Checks

COVID-19 Nasal Swab Test Does Not Cause Risk of Infection
A viral Facebook post makes the false claim that the nasal swab test for COVID-19 damages the “blood-brain barrier” and can therefore lead to brain infections. Medical experts say the swab test is completely safe.

Trump’s Misleading COVID-19 Comparisons to Other Countries
  • In a series of comments focused on the surging number of COVID-19 cases elsewhere in the world, Trump left the misleading impression that the U.S. is doing better than several countries seeing recent upticks in cases. But nearly all of the nations he mentioned still have fewer new daily per capita cases than the U.S.
  • The president said Dr. Anthony Fauci, a coronavirus task force member, was “wrong” that Europe was more successful in reducing new cases partly because countries had more restrictive lockdowns than the U.S. Instead, Trump inaccurately insisted that the U.S. has more cases because of more testing.
  • Trump repeated the misleading claim that COVID-19 cases are “up” in the U.S. “because of BIG Testing.” Cases are high because of ongoing transmission, not just because of testing. Coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said that the recent outbreaks, unlike those in the early days of the pandemic, are “extraordinarily widespread.”

Members of Congress did not receive quarantine exemption for John Lewis’s funeral
Facebook posts shared thousands of times claim Washington’s mayor exempted members of Congress from a 14-day quarantine after they traveled to the funeral of civil rights icon John Lewis in Georgia, which the city considers a “high-risk” state for the coronavirus. But this is misleading, as there was no special exemption; rather, government activity is considered an essential service and the US Capitol is not covered by the mayor’s order, her office said.

Asthma Medicine Not Proven as COVID-19 ‘Cure’
A viral headline on Facebook claims that a vaccine isn’t “Needed” for COVID-19 because “There Is Already A Cure.” But the supposed “cure” is an asthma medication, touted by a Texas doctor, that has not yet been proven in clinical trials as an effective treatment for COVID-19 — though researchers are exploring its efficacy.

No, 43 countries did not award Aung San Suu Kyi the title of ‘mother of the world’
Three photos have been shared thousands of times in multiple posts on Facebook and on blogs alongside a claim that Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi has been recognised by 43 countries as “mother of the world”. The claim is false; the images show coins with Aung San Suu Kyi’s image created by a Burmese artist; as of August 2020, there was no international award for “mother of the world”.