FactCheck ☑️
Texas pastor falsely accused of failing to provide shelter from cold
Social media posts shared thousands of times claim Texas pastor Joel Osteen has not opened his massive Lakewood Church to those in need of shelter, despite a big freeze paralyzing the state. This is false; both the church and the city of Houston have said the facility is being used for that purpose.
Read the full article: https://factcheck.afp.com/texas-pastor-falsely-accused-failing-provide-shelter-cold

Video Airs False, Misleading Claims About Face Masks
A Missouri-based chiropractor — who has been previously warned by federal officials to stop spreading misleading content regarding unproven COVID-19 treatments — is now wrongly telling Facebook users that face masks have been proven “unsafe” and “ineffective.”

In a Feb. 11 video live-streamed on Facebook and viewed more than 70,000 times, Eric Nepute rattles off a list of 20 arguments against wearing face masks — claiming, for example, that they cause cavities and “facial deformities” and increase the chances of contracting the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

But many of Nepute’s claims are false, misleading or unsupported. And a central takeaway — that masks are “ineffective” — is rebuffed by recent evidence to the contrary.

Two doctors at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently summarized the growing evidence that masks can help to control community spread of the virus. In a piece for the Journal of the American Medical Association, they wrote: “Compelling data now demonstrate that community mask wearing is an effective nonpharmacologic intervention to reduce the spread of this infection, especially as source control to prevent spread from infected persons, but also as protection to reduce wearers’ exposure to infection.”

Rather than cite credible research on masks, Nepute largely adapted his claims from a January post on the website of the Canada-based Centre for Research on Globalization. That website has pushed conspiracy theories about the 9/11 terrorist attacks and other topics; a recent State Department report said the website “has been a steady source of anti-U.S. and anti-Western disinformation and propaganda ever since” its 2001 debut.

For his part, Nepute has spread unsound advice before, drawing the scrutiny of the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC in May sent a letter warning Nepute that he was unlawfully advertising products and services — including chiropractic care and intravenous vitamin therapy — to treat or prevent COVID-19. The letter advised him to “immediately cease making all such claims.”
  • Misleading Cavities Assertion
  • Unsupported Claim on ‘Facial Deformities’
  • Distorted Claim on Risks
  • Baseless Claim About Bacterial Pneumonia
Read the full article: https://www.factcheck.org/2021/02/scicheck-video-airs-false-misleading-claims-about-face-masks/

Facebook posts share incorrect statistics about Earth's glaciers
Multiple Facebook posts shared hundreds of times claim there has been no decline in the number of glaciers on Earth since former US vice president Al Gore was born in 1948. The claim, however, is false: experts told AFP that the posts use incorrect statistics. The world's glacier ice volume has steadily declined since at least 1950, they said.
Read the full article: https://factcheck.afp.com/facebook-posts-share-incorrect-statistics-about-earths-glaciers

New Zealand Facebook users falsely claim WHO says 'child's presence in school' equates to vaccination consent
Facebook posts claiming the World Health Organization says a “child’s presence in school counts as ‘informed consent’ for vaccination” have been shared repeatedly in New Zealand. The posts are misleading: New Zealand's Ministry of Health says written parental consent is required before children under the age of 16 are vaccinated; the screenshot shared in the misleading Facebook posts shows one section of a 2014 WHO report which has been taken out of context; the WHO says it does not recommend specific vaccination consent procedures.
Read the full article: https://factcheck.afp.com/new-zealand-facebook-users-falsely-claim-who-says-childs-presence-school-equates-vaccination-consent

Social media posts mislead on New Zealand's Covid-19 vaccination drive
Multiple Facebook posts shared thousands of times in Thailand in February 2021 claim New Zealand has “returned to normal” as “the majority of people have been vaccinated [for Covid-19]”. The posts shared screenshots of a video featuring New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern alongside a claim it shows her "encouraging people to do outdoor activities to prove that New Zealand has finally returned to normal". The claim is misleading: as of February 18, 2021, New Zealand was set to begin offering Covid-19 vaccinations to the general population from February 20, 2021. The screenshots in the posts were actually taken from a video that shows Ardern taking part in a barbecue to celebrate New Zealand’s national day.
Read the full article: https://factcheck.afp.com/social-media-posts-mislead-new-zealands-covid-19-vaccination-drive

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