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Coronavirus: The Infodemic - August 24

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a news conference at a COVID-19 testing site at Hard Rock Stadium, during the new coronavirus pandemic, May 6, 2020, in Miami Gardens, Fla.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a news conference at a COVID-19 testing site at Hard Rock Stadium, during the new coronavirus pandemic, May 6, 2020, in Miami Gardens, Fla.

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

Daily Debunk

Claim: "The fact is that in terms of the risk to schoolkids, this is lower risk than seasonal influenza," Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, August 10, 2020

Verdict: Mostly True

Read the full story at: PolitiFact

Social Media Disinfo


Circulating on social media: Claim that the Tanzanian government has kicked the World Health Organization (WHO) out of the country.

Verdict: False

Read the full story at: Agence France-Presse​

Factual Reads on Coronavirus

Is convalescent plasma safe and effective? We answer the major questions about the Covid-19 treatment.
-- Stat, August 23

Long-Haulers Are Redefining COVID-19
Without understanding the lingering illness that some patients experience, we can’t understand the pandemic.
-- The Atlantic, August 19

Evidence lags behind excitement over blood plasma as a coronavirus treatment
Although there have been few data on whether convalescent plasma definitely improves outcomes for people with other diseases, it was logical to test the treatment against COVID-19 when the outbreak began. But researchers have struggled to nail down its effectiveness in the middle of the pandemic, says Michael Joyner, an anaesthesiologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
-- Nature, August 19

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

Without Federal Protections, Farm Workers Risk Coronavirus Infection to Harvest Crops
Farms have already reported outbreaks among hundreds of workers in states that include California, Washington, Florida and Michigan.
-- Kaiser Health News, August 10

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

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