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Stories by Saranac Hale Spencer


Arizona Rep. Gosar tweeted baseless claims about gender identity of Uvalde shooter

Police are still investigating the shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, but despite having no evidence, conservatives - including Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar - spread unsubstantiated claims the gunman was transgender. ... Read more»0

FactCheck: Border Patrol required to provide formula to detained infants

A shortage of baby formula has been driven by the shutdown of a major plant, a formula recall and supply-chain issues - but conservatives have suggested that the shortage was due to sending baby formula as legally required to the immigrants at the border.... Read more»0

FactCheck: COVID-19 vaccines reduce hospitalization and death rates, contrary to social media claims

Those who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 are more prone to serious illness and are dying at higher rates than those who are vaccinated, contrary to social media accounts that continue to misleadingly suggest the vaccines are unnecessary.... Read more»0

FactCheck: Former presidents not allowed to take home official records

Despite claims that the law allowed former President Donald Trump to “take documents when he left the White House,” a former president isn’t allowed to take possession of official records, which Trump has said the 15 boxes of materials recovered from his Mar-a-Lago residence are.... Read more»0


Experts: No link between COVID-19 vaccines & erectile dysfunction

Public health officials around the world have explained that erectile dysfunction is not a side effect of COVID-19 vaccines, despite a viral tweet from rapper Nicki Minaj that spread the unfounded claim.... Read more»0

Viral claim gets Biden’s COVID-19 travel and immigration policies wrong

The Biden administration hasn’t introduced COVID-19 travel restrictions on Americans going to Mexico since the Delta variant became dominant in the U.S., and it is enforcing immigration laws at the border, but a meme falsely claiming the opposite is circulating online.... Read more»0

FactCheck: Video twists advice on Delta variant and vaccination

Studies indicate that currently available vaccines are largely effective against the Delta variant of the virus that causes COVID-19, but a video circulating on Facebook wrongly tells viewers the opposite.... Read more»0

Evidence points to safety of COVID-19 vaccines for pregnant women

Clinical trials and medical studies have indicated that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe for pregnant women, but online posts misrepresent unverified reports to misleadingly suggest “920 women” lost babies because they received the vaccination.... Read more»0


Vaccine ingredient SM-102 is safe, despite claims in recent video

The COVID-19 vaccine from Moderna uses an ingredient called SM-102 to deliver the mRNA that carries instructions for how to develop antibodies against the novel coronavirus and a widely shared video is now spreading the falsehood that SM-102 is harmful, but the warning label it shows is for chloroform, not SM-102.... Read more»0


Tucker Carlson misrepresents vaccine safety reporting data

Fox News host Tucker Carlson suggested to his viewers on May 6 that more than 3,000 people have died from the COVID-19 vaccines, but the claim is based on a misrepresentation of data collected by federal agencies that use it to identify potential safety issues with vaccines. ... Read more»0


Pfizer CEO got vaccinated, contrary to claim in video

The chief executive officer for Pfizer, Albert Bourla, has gotten his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, he told Axios in early March. But a video posted to Facebook on March 24 is blaring the false claim: “Pfeizer CEO refuses [vaccine],” with an emoji that looks like the SARS-CoV-2 virus and a syringe. ... Read more»0


MyPillow CEO’s video rehashes debunked election claims

A two-hour video by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, claiming to prove that the 2020 presidential election was “stolen” from former President Trump, rehashes baseless conspiracy fantasies and debunked claims.... Read more»0

Factcheck: Meme falsely compares benefits for refugees, senior citizens

A popular meme falsely claims that each month refugees in the United States receive over three times more money in “federal assistance” than Social Security beneficiaries. That’s a new version of an old claim we debunked more than a decade ago.... Read more»0

Debunking false 'vaccines cause autism' claim

Q: Has the FDA announced that vaccines cause autism? A: No. FDA statements are grounded in scientific evidence. There is no evidence that vaccination is linked to autism.... Read more»0