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Coronavirus: The Infodemic - April 16

A health worker is seen with blood samples during a testing of municipal workers from the Miraflores district of Lima for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Lima, Peru April 13, 2020. REUTERS/Sebastian Castaneda

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

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

Daily Debunk

Claim: SARS-CoV-2 binds to hemoglobin in red blood cells.

Verdict: Incorrect

Read the full story: "Claim that SARS-CoV-2 binds to hemoglobin in red blood cells unsupported and implausible," Health Feedback, April 16​.

Social Media Disinfo​


Circulating on social media: A list of bullet points supposedly shared by Johns Hopkins University summarizing best practice for avoiding the coronavirus.

Verdict: False

Read the full story at: "False claim: Johns Hopkins University shared bullet-point coronavirus tips" -- Reuters​

Factual Reads on Coronavirus

Coronavirus pandemic threatens to take crushing toll on rural areas, data show
Experts say the pandemic could accentuate the urban-rural divide in health measures, just as it has shined a light on other existing health disparities, killing disproportionate numbers of Black Americans, for example.
-- Stat, April 16

Criticized for Pandemic Response, Trump Tries Shifting Blame to the W.H.O.
The president said he would halt funding for the organization because it caused “so much death” in the way it “pushed Chinese misinformation,” though he himself effusively praised China’s handling of the virus.
-- New York Times, April 14​

How Do We Exit The Shutdown? Hire An Army Of Public Health Workers
[T]here’s broad agreement that core public health work — the ability to find people with the virus and prevent them from passing it to others — will be essential to reopening schools and businesses.
-- Kaiser Health News, April 13​

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 ​

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

Is comparing coronavirus death rates futile?
Comparing coronavirus statistics is virtually impossible right now because each country collects the data differently.
Deutsche Welle, March 30

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

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