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Coronavirus: The Infodemic - March 23

Medical staff in a protective suit treats a patient suffering from coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in an intensive care unit at the Oglio Po hospital in Cremona, Italy March 19, 2020.

Fake news about the coronavirus can do real harm. is spotlighting fact-checks from many sources here​.

Daily Debunk

"Italy has decided NOT to treat their elderly for this virus. That, my friends, is socialized healthcare."

-- Claim made in a March 14, 2020 Facebook post

Verdict: Mostly False

Read the full story at:

Social Media Disinfo​

Claim circulating on social media: A combination of the antimalarial hydroxychloroquine and the antibiotic azithromycin​ is key to combating COVID-19.

Verdict: Misleading

Read the full story: "Surgeon General Immediately Warns Viewers Against Trying Malaria Drug Treatment for Coronavirus after Dr. Oz Tells Fox Viewers He's Testing It" -- Newsweek

Factual Reads on Coronavirus

Lessons from Past Outbreaks Could Help Fight the Coronavirus Pandemic
The 1918 influenza pandemic and 2002–2003 SARS outbreak suggest social distancing measures, communication and international cooperation are the most effective methods to slow COVID-19.
-- Scientific American, March 23

Why this Nobel laureate predicts a quicker coronavirus recovery: 'We're going to be fine'
While many epidemiologists are warning of months, or even years, of massive social disruption and millions of deaths, Stanford's Michael Levitt says the data simply don't support such a dire scenario — especially in areas where reasonable social distancing measures are in place.
-- Los Angeles Times/Yahoo News, March 22

Can’t Get Tested? Maybe You’re in the Wrong Country​.​
Scientists say the chasm between the testing haves and have-nots reflects politics, public health strategies and, in some cases, blunders​.
-- New York Times, March 20

Coronavirus Death Rate in Wuhan Lower Than Initial Estimates, New Study Finds​.
"The study, published Thursday in the journal Nature Medicine, found that the death rate among people who had symptoms was 1.4% in Wuhan, China, as of Feb. 29. That rate is lower than previous estimates of mortality rates for Covid-19, the disease caused by the new virus, in Wuhan and China overall​."
-- Wall Street Journal, March 19

The Best Coronavirus Myth-Busting Collections

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Associated Press

Washington Post


Reliable Coronavirus Information

World Health Organization

U.S. Centers for Disease Control

Federation of American Scientists

Emergency Physicians

Johns Hopkins University & Medicine​

Pan American Health Organization

Google COVID‑19 Information & Resources