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Coronavirus: The Infodemic - April 9

A man wears a face mask as the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Milan, Italy, April 3, 2020. REUTERS/Daniele Mascolo

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

Daily Debunk

Claim: Members of the public who aren’t sick with COVID-19 should wear face masks to limit the spread of the disease.

Verdict: Unclear

Read the full story: "COVID-19 Face Mask Advice, Explained,"​

Social Media Disinfo​

Screenshot of misleading Facebook post, taken on April 8, 2020
Screenshot of misleading Facebook post, taken on April 8, 2020

Circulating on social media: A video claiming to show police in Spain rounding up people aged 50 and above to transfer them to quarantine centers amid COVID-19 pandemic.

Verdict: False

Read the full story: "Video of Spanish police transferring people to quarantine centers? False. This video was shot in Azerbaijan in October 2019 during an anti-government protest" -- Agence France-Presse

Factual Reads on Coronavirus

Dr. Fauci Says He Doesn't Think Americans Should Ever Shake Hands Again to Prevent Spread of Coronavirus
The leading infectious disease expert on President Donald Trump's coronavirus task force told the Wall Street Journal that an end to handshaking would be good for reducing future transmissions of the novel coronavirus and would also cut the number of influenza cases.
-- Newsweek, April 8

A small trial finds that hydroxychloroquine is not effective for treating coronavirus
[A] study just published in a French medical journal provides new evidence that hydroxychloroquine does not appear to help the immune system clear the coronavirus from the body.
-- The Conversation, April 3 ​

An antibody test for the novel coronavirus will soon be available
In the short term, this will be important because it will permit the authorities to identify who may return to their jobs without risk of infecting others.
– The Economist, April 2

The Race to Build COVID-19 Ventilators
The world needs more ventilators – but scaling up production is more complex than it seems.
-- BBC, April 1

Chinese State Media Seeks to Influence International Perceptions of COVID-19 Pandemic
We assess that the effort we see today to cast doubt on the origin of COVID-19 and shift the blame away from China began in mid-February with the transition away from the use of Wuhan-specific hashtags in COVID-19 posts.
-- Recorded Future, March 30

Estimates of the severity of coronavirus disease 2019: a model-based analysis
Our estimated overall infection fatality ratio for China was 0·66% (0·39–1·33), with an increasing profile with age.
-- The Lancet, March 30

How COVID-19 Drug Hunters Spot Virus-Fighting Compounds
A big project looks at “doorways” the coronavirus uses to get into cells—and finds drugs that could block them.
-- Scientific American, March 20

Mapping the COVID-19 outbreak map displaying confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. by county map displaying confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. by county

The Best Coronavirus Myth-Busting Collections

Agence France Presse



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