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Stories by Jessica McDonald


When the science is messy: How SciCheck handles scientific disputes

A cautious approach can be hard for people who expect concrete statements - and of course, scientists live for caveats, since so much of science is uncertain - so SciCheck tries to be transparent and remind readers that the science can change.... Read more»0

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FactChecking Biden’s Jan. 19 press conference

In a nearly two-hour press conference on Jan. 19, President Joe Biden stretched the facts and left out important context on vaccinations, funding for lead pipe removal, child poverty and more.... Read more»0


A guide to Pfizer/BioNTech’s pediatric COVID-19 vaccine for kids 5-11

Pfizer/BioNTech was the first to cross the finish line and offer a FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine to children ages 5 through 11. Here, FactCheck describes how it's different from its grown-up cousin and what experts are saying about who should get it.... Read more»0


Vaccines remain largely effective against Delta variant, counter to claims of Fox News guest

Multiple studies show the COVID-19 vaccines continue to be effective against the Delta variant of the coronavirus, even if the potency of the vaccines is somewhat reduced, but a guest on Fox News falsely claimed there is “no clinical reason to go get vaccinated.”... Read more»0

CDC data thus far show COVID-19 vaccination safe during pregnancy

Federal vaccine monitoring systems have identified no safety concerns with the COVID-19 vaccines for pregnant people and preliminary CDC data show that miscarriage is not more frequent than expected in vaccinated people - however, online posts falsely contend that such data shows an 82% miscarriage rate.... Read more»0


The facts – and gaps – on the origin of the coronavirus

Consideration of the so-called coronavirus lab leak hypothesis has seemingly gained momentum, yet the default answer for most scientists is that the virus probably made the jump to humans from bats directly or, more likely, through one or more intermediate mammals.... Read more»0


The evolving science of face masks and COVID-19

Since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began recommending that members of the public mask up last spring, additional research has backed the use of face masks to combat the coronavirus. While knowledge gaps still remain, experts agree that masks should be used — and increasingly, they are emphasizing the use of better masks.... Read more»0


Yearbook photo of man in 'Hitler' Halloween costume isn't Mark Kelly

Drawing on a report from a conservative news site, several social media posts claim — without evidence —that Senate candidate Mark Kelly was photographed in an Adolf Hitler costume at a 1985 Halloween party at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.... Read more»0

FactCheck: Q&A on coronavirus vaccines

An overview of the vaccine development efforts underway and answer some questions about the testing process, the likelihood and timing of a vaccine in the U.S., and what to expect from a COVID-19 vaccine.... Read more»0


Trump falsely claims COVID-19 death projection assumes 'no mitigation'

Dismissing concerns that states are reopening too soon, President Donald Trump incorrectly said that a newly revised model projecting 134,000 COVID-19 deaths by August “assumes no mitigation.” In fact, the model assumes states will keep their existing social distancing measures in place, unless suspensions have already been announced.... Read more»0

FactCheck: Trump’s attack on the WHO

Trump made his announcement on funding at the White House coronavirus task force daily briefing on April 14, accusing the WHO of “severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus.” There is no evidence that the WHO has covered up the spread of the novel coronavirus. There has, however, been evidence that China was slow to report the outbreak. ... Read more»0


No evidence to back concerns about taking ibuprofen with COVID-19

Fackcheck examines the claim that ibuprofen makes COVID-19 worse. ... Read more»0

Trump hypes potential COVID-19 cures, evidence so far is slim

President Donald Trump has enthusiastically pushed the use of two malaria drugs — one in combination with an antibiotic — to treat COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. But there is currently only limited evidence to suggest the drugs are effective against the new virus.... Read more»0

Trump misrepresents Google coronavirus website

President Donald Trump and other officials misleadingly suggested that tech behemoth Google was working on a screening website that large numbers of Americans could soon use to see if they should be tested for the new coronavirus. The website, however, is actually a project of Google’s sister company Verily and is initially limited to the San Francisco Bay Area.... Read more»0

FactCheck: The facts on mental illness & mass shootings

Q: Do people with serious mental health disorders pose a greater risk of becoming mass shooters? A: People with mental illnesses are somewhat more likely to be violent than those without a diagnosis. But a majority are never violent, and very little is known specifically about mass murder.... Read more»0

Fact Check: Buttigieg wrong about climate change’s effect on oceans

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg's claim that the oxygen supply will be cut in half extrapolates a claim to a degree that doesn't hold water, just hot air.... Read more»0

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