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Coronavirus: The Infodemic - August 19

Japan -- People wearing face masks as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus visit Togoshi Ginza shopping street in Tokyo on August 1, 2020. (Photo by Philip FONG / AFP)
Japan -- People wearing face masks as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus visit Togoshi Ginza shopping street in Tokyo on August 1, 2020. (Photo by Philip FONG / AFP)

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

Daily Debunk

Claim: "In 2003, the Center for Disease Control saw the possibility of a gold strike. And that was the coronavirus outbreak that happened in Asia … they sought to patent it, and they made sure that they controlled the proprietary rights to the disease, to the virus, and to its detection and all of the measurement of it."

Verdict: Misleading

Read the full story at: Politifact

Social Media Disinfo

Circulating on social media: Claim that under the “Covid-19: four fifths of cases are asymptomatic, China figures indicate.”

Verdict: Misleading

Read the full story at: The Warlus

Factual Reads on Coronavirus

Russia’s fast-track coronavirus vaccine draws outrage over safety
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on 11 August that the country’s health regulator had become the first in the world to approve a coronavirus vaccine for widespread use — but scientists globally have condemned the decision as dangerously rushed.
-- Nature, August 11​

Coronavirus Doctors Battle Another Scourge: Misinformation
Physicians say they regularly treat people more inclined to believe what they read on Facebook than what a medical professional tells them.
-- New York Times, August 17

The ever-expanding list of COVID-19 symptoms
We last wrote about COVID-19 symptoms at the end of April. Since then, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has added several new symptoms of possible infection: congestion, runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea.
-- MITMedical, August 11

Winter is coming: Why America’s window of opportunity to beat back Covid-19 is closing
Unless Americans use the dwindling weeks between now and the onset of “indoor weather” to tamp down transmission in the country, this winter could be Dickensianly bleak, public health experts warn.
-- Stat, August 10

America’s Obesity Epidemic Threatens Effectiveness of Any COVID Vaccine
Scientists know that vaccines engineered to protect the public from influenza, hepatitis B, tetanus and rabies can be less effective in obese adults than in the general population, leaving them more vulnerable to infection and illness. There is little reason to believe, obesity researchers say, that COVID-19 vaccines will be any different.
-- Kaiser Health News, August 6

How the pandemic might play out in 2021 and beyond
This coronavirus is here for the long haul — here’s what scientists predict for the next months and years.
-- Nature, August 5

Could My Symptoms Be Covid-19?
These days, every cough, sneeze or headache makes you wonder: Could it be Covid-19?
-- New York Times, August 5​

Watch: Antibodies, immunity, and what they mean for Covid-19, explained
The immune system is no wimp. When pathogens cause illness, it kicks into high gear. Cells work together to tag, kill and gobble up invaders as they fight the infection.
-- Stat, May 5

The race for coronavirus vaccines: a graphical guide
Eight ways in which scientists hope to provide immunity to SARS-CoV-2.
-- Nature, April 28

The Best Coronavirus Myth-Busting Collections

COVID19 Infodemics Observatory

Agence France Presse



Associated Press

Washington Post


Mapping the COVID-19

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