Tuesday, September 08, 2020

President and allies are way ahead in misinformation, Post says; here are facts about a coronavirus vaccine, and more

President Trump and his allies have been ratcheting up disinformation efforts as the campaign enters its last months, retweeting and boosting misleading, discredited, manipulated, or just plain false information, Ashley Parker reports for The Washington Post. Trump has made more than 20,000 false or misleading statements during his presidency, she writes, "but many experts said the onslaught of the disinformation efforts by Trump and his team in the late weeks of the campaign make the deception particularly difficult to combat, not to mention dangerous to the country’s democratic institutions." 

Here are some recent fact-checks from FactCheck.org; most deal with Trump, but one is a misleading statement from Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Trump has repeatedly promised that a coronavirus vaccine will be available soon, possibly by October. But numerous federal officials who work on or have inside knowledge of vaccine efforts say it's "extremely unlikely," Elizabeth Cohen reports for CNN. FactCheck offers a comprehensive Q&A on worldwide coronavirus vaccine development efforts. Though it is very likely that a vaccine will be created, it probably won't be available by Election Day, FactCheck reports.

Other fact-checks:
  • In late August, Trump retweeted a false claim that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had "quietly" updated its numbers to reflect that only 6 percent of Americans who were listed as coronavirus deaths actually died from covid-19. That's false, FactCheck reports. The CDC noted its update on its public statistic page (not quietly) to say that, for 6% of the people who died from covid-19, the disease was the only cause of death listed on the death certificate. The other 94% were listed as having at least one other factor that contributed to their deaths, such as obesity or diabetes, and such factors are likely in older people, who are more vulnerable to the virus. Those with underlying health conditions are more likely to die from it.
  • FactCheck examined Trump's recent Fox News interview with Laura Ingraham and found that he made several false, misleading, exaggerated, or unsubstantiated claims. Read more here.
  • Trump gave poor advice to mail-in voters when he encouraged them to show up at polling places on Election Day and cast an in-person ballot if poll workers can't confirm that their mail-in ballot was received. That's unnecessary, will probably cause long delays at polling places, and could be illegal, FactCheck reports.
  • Biden claimed that Trump's efforts to nullify the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in court "would take 100 million people with preexisting conditions and move them in a direction where they can’t get coverage." But that's misleading, FactCheck reports, because it's highly unlikely that they would all lose coverage. Read more here.

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