Scientists are still learning about the omicron variant’s ability to spread or cause severe illness and the effectiveness of the current COVID-19 vaccines in fighting it. But a Facebook post misleadingly claims to list seven “symptoms” of the new variant, then suggests they are caused by the vaccines. The list actually refers to complications of COVID-19. Two of the listed conditions are rare adverse events associated with the vaccines.
U.S. border officials reported seizing 10,856 pounds of fentanyl being smuggled across the southwest border in fiscal year 2021, a 132% increase from fiscal year 2020. Some Republicans have misleadingly suggested that the amount of drugs seized is a negative development attributable to the immigration policies of President Joe Biden.
On Nov. 24, South Africa told the World Health Organization that amid a recent increase in COVID-19 cases, it had identified a new variant — later named omicron — with a high number of mutations, raising concerns that it could spread more easily than other variants of the coronavirus. We’ll go through what we know so far about omicron.
President Joe Biden restricted travel from eight African nations on Nov. 26 to slow the spread of the omicron variant. Conservative commentators have misleadingly cited a Biden tweet from last year to claim he was critical of “the same travel ban” implemented by then-President Donald Trump. But that tweet was about a Trump immigration order directed at predominantly Muslim countries.
Ghislaine Maxwell, who is charged with assisting accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, is scheduled to go on trial on Nov. 29. Social media posts are circulating a photo that falsely claims to show Chief Justice John Roberts in an affectionate pose with Maxwell. The photo actually shows Maxwell with a French modeling agent facing sexual assault charges.
A vaccination can’t be reversed through any “detox” process, medical experts say. Yet, a social media post is spreading the false claim that a bath with borax can “get rid” of a COVID-19 vaccine. The bath may remove some water from the body, but not the molecules associated with vaccines, a toxicologist told us.
With the release of its pediatric COVID-19 vaccine, Pfizer switched the buffer used in its formulation to increase the stability of the product, allowing it to remain at refrigerator temperatures for longer. The Food and Drug Administration OK’d the change, which is also being made to some doses for teens and adults. Social media posts, however, misleadingly suggest that the ingredient swap is dangerous or was added to prevent heart attacks in children.