Fact Checks ☑️
Facebook posts make misleading claim that 220,000 coronavirus fatalities in US were caused by other medical conditions
Multiple Facebook posts shared hundreds of times claim the US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that 220,000 people who were recorded as dying from Covid-19 actually died from other medical conditions. The CDC data referenced in the posts has been presented in a misleading context; the data shows medical conditions that may have contributed to the deaths of people infected with Covid-19, as well as co-morbidities such as pneumonia that were caused by Covid-19.

Trump Jr tweets false claim that ‘almost 0’ Americans died from the flu this year
Donald Trump Jr, US President Donald Trump’s eldest son, tweeted that the flu killed 75,000 Americans last year and nearly none this year, suggesting that deaths are being miscounted to “manipulate the truth” about the coronavirus pandemic. This is false; US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has counted about 8,000 flu deaths so far in 2020, which are reported separately from Covid-19 deaths. Last season’s flu killed between 24,000 and 62,000 Americans, not 75,000.

Trump Baselessly Suggests COVID-19 Deaths Inflated for Profit
During a campaign rally in Wisconsin, President Donald Trump questioned the reported numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the U.S. by describing a purported “incentive” to report cases and deaths, because “doctors get more money and hospitals get more money.”

Trump’s comments tapped into a months-old, baseless conspiracy theory for which there is no evidence: that COVID-19 deaths have been inflated by hospitals seeking to profit. Multiple experts previously told us that such claims were unfounded.

Trump’s Misleading Attacks on Biden Over Fracking
President Donald Trump and his allies continue to ignore Joe Biden’s written plan to only prohibit permits for new oil and gas drilling on federal land and waters. That plan would allow for extraction methods, such as fracking, to continue under existing permits and in nonfederal areas — where the vast majority of U.S. oil and natural gas is produced.

Viral Posts Take Biden Quote on Voter Fraud Out of Context
Social media posts shared by Eric Trump and Fox News host Jeanine Pirro take a quote by Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden out of context to claim he “admits to voter fraud.” Biden was actually describing his efforts to prevent voter fraud and suppression.

Revived Political Post Falsely Attributed, Again, to Clint Eastwood
Facebook users falsely claim a post critical of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden was written by actor Clint Eastwood. A nearly identical post aimed at former President Barack Obama — and also misattributed to Eastwood — has circulated since 2013.

FactChecking Trump’s ‘Super V’ Recovery
President Donald Trump has been boasting for weeks of a “super V” economic recovery. But figures released today show an economy still far from fully recovered.

The “super V” phrase is now a staple at his campaign rallies. On Oct. 28 in Arizona, he said, “This is going to be better and you see where we’re going. It’s a super V. It’s a super V.” Four days earlier in Ohio, he said that “we’re doing a super V, we’re going up. …I mean, it’s amazing, actually amazing. We have a super V.”

He has been pushing the idea for weeks, using it way back on Sept. 10 as he boarded Air Force One near Washington, D.C.: “[O]ur economy is very good. We’re in a ‘super V.'” He repeated it Sept. 23 at the White House: “We have a ‘V.’ We may have a ‘super V.’ And it’s coming back fast.”

It’s true that the economy is improving, but not to the extent the president suggests.

Monthly gains in employment peaked in June and have been lower in each succeeding month.

Looking forward, most of the 63 economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal from Oct. 2 to 6 said they expect it will be the fourth quarter of 2021 or later before real GDP returns to the peak level seen in the final quarter of last year. And the outlook for jobs was even worse; most said they expect it will be 2023 — or even later — before total employment recovers.

Nothing Untoward About Counting Ballots After Election Day
In recent days, President Donald Trump has repeatedly and baselessly suggested that counting mail-in ballots after Election Day will result in fraud.

... There is nothing unusual or untoward about counting mail-in ballots after an election. It happens every election.

“Counting doesn’t ‘often’ go on past Election Day. It *always* does,” Rick Hasen, a professor of law and political science at the University of California, Irvine, said in an Oct. 28 tweet. “Results on election night are preliminary, even in states that do relatively quick counts. Electoral college votes are not even cast until mid December, and the Congress counts the votes in January.”

The reason: Most states don’t start counting mail-in ballots until Election Day, and 22 states — including 12 won by Trump in 2016 — accept postmarked mail-in ballots after Election Day. (Over Trump’s objections, the U.S. Supreme Court let stand lower court rulings that allowed North Carolina to accept and count mail-in ballots up to nine days after Election Day and Pennsylvania up to three days.)

The process is expected to take even longer in some states this year because concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in a sharp increase in the use of mail-in ballots.

Misleading photo used to denounce environmentalists’ opposition to fracking
A photo montage circulating online suggests environmentalists are hypocritical for opposing fracking, by pointing to the ecological devastation of lithium production for electric cars. However, the post misleadingly uses a photo of a copper mine to illustrate lithium extraction and experts told AFP it's difficult to call one industry more environmentally destructive than another.

Facebook posts exaggerate the Pope’s involvement in NASA space missions
Multiple Facebook posts shared hundreds of times claim that NASA “always receives blessings from the Pope” and that “God’s permission must be sought” before a space mission has been shared in multiple Facebook posts. The claim is misleading; the Pope has bestowed blessings on NASA missions and astronauts, but there are no credible reports to suggest that papal approval is required before a mission.