Fact Checks

Video in misleading post predates France's ban on prescribing chloroquine for COVID-19
The video of a widely shared news report on Facebook claims that the French government has officially sanctioned anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of the novel coronavirus. However, the claim is misleading: the video is old and predates France’s ban on hydroxychloroquine as a prescription drug for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

Imposter local news sites spread false claims about penalties for passengers using phones in Canada
An article shared hundreds of thousands of times on Facebook claims that drivers in Canada now face penalties of three demerit points and a $1,500 fine if a passenger in their car is using a mobile phone. This is false; no province has such a penalty and there are no new rules coming into force this summer.

Trump Ad Features Edited, Out-of-Context Biden Photos
The narrator of the 30-second ad, which was posted to YouTube, Twitter and Facebook on Aug. 5, says: “Deep in the heart of Delaware, Joe Biden sits in his basement. Alone. Hiding. Diminished. Refusing to answer questions about the crazy far-left ideas he’s adopted.”

But when the narrator says “alone” and “hiding,” a photo is shown of Biden — Trump’s presumptive Democratic challenger — sitting on the floor at a watch party for a college football game in December 2019. The uncropped photo shows he was neither “alone” nor “hiding” at the gathering, which was held at the home of Coralville, Iowa’s mayor and attended by Biden supporters and members of the press.

The Gazette of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, called out the Trump campaign for using the “unauthorized and altered Gazette photo to criticize Biden.”

In addition, when the ad’s narrator says the word “diminished,” a photo is shown of Biden, wearing tinted shades and rubbing his forehead, in what looks like it could be a basement. But, as CNN reported, it’s actually an edited photo of Biden at an outdoor campaign event — also in Iowa — in September 2019. In the original photo, which was taken by Mark Peterson for Politico Magazine, Biden is holding a microphone and there are trees in the background.

Hoax circulates online that Fauci ‘knew’ about effective coronavirus treatments in 2005
Multiple posts shared hundreds of times on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and on various websites claim that US top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci “has known for 15 years” that chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are effective treatments for coronaviruses, citing a 2005 academic paper. The claims are false; one of the authors of the 2005 study said the findings were based on laboratory tests for SARS-CoV, not clinical trials; the study was published by the Virology Journal, which belongs to a for-profit publisher and is not associated with Fauci or the US National Institutes of Health; as of August 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) says there is "no proof that hydroxychloroquine or any other drug can cure or prevent COVID-19".