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        {
            "id": 18266,
            "slug": "spam-news-websites-spread-false-claim-about-corona",
            "speaker": {
                "slug": "blog-posting",
                "full_name": "Bloggers",
                "first_name": "",
                "last_name": "Bloggers"
            },
            "targets": [],
            "statement": "Says President Donald Trump will announce that a scientist \"finally found vaccine to cure corona virus.\"",
            "ruling_slug": "pants-fire",
            "publication_date": "2020-04-01T17:30:39-04:00",
            "ruling_comments": "<p>President Donald Trump has touted how quickly the government is developing potential COVID-19 vaccines. An article circulating on Facebook gives him even more credit.</p>\n\n<p>The story, which was published March 24 on <a href=\"https://web.archive.org/web/20200401204215/http://opr.news/news/detail/c46361cb8a98f304102ec00836eaa5bd?product=news&amp;fbclid=IwAR1vEtbb7jOhkp6QY9Wee2I14Yii51jiTBznA3BKVzlO_hl1Wpnd6Aoeh4o\">several</a> <a href=\"https://web.archive.org/web/20200401151439/https://ktkmediagh.com/trump-announce-name-of-vaccine-to-cure-corona-virus-in-three-hours/\">spam</a> <a href=\"https://web.archive.org/web/20200401204312/https://news-af.feednews.com/news/detail/c46361cb8a98f304102ec00836eaa5bd?client=news\">news</a> <a href=\"http://archive.is/0Mnpo\">websites</a>, claims that Trump is getting ready to announce the name and launch date of a vaccine for the coronavirus.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;The president of the United States of America will officially make the announcement about the vaccine to cure the virus on Sunday,&quot; reads the article, which includes a purported photo of the vaccine. &quot;Roche medical company will launch the vaccine on Sunday.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>The articles were flagged as part of Facebook&rsquo;s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our <a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536?helpref=related\">partnership with Facebook</a>.)</p>\n\n<div class=\"artembed\">See Figure 1 on PolitiFact.com</div>\n\n<p><em>(Screenshot)</em></p>\n\n<p>The stories, published on spam websites registered in West Africa, are bogus.</p>\n\n<p>Trump did not announce a vaccine on Sunday, March 29, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention <a href=\"https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fprepare%2Fprevention.html\">says</a> there is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus infections. <a href=\"https://www.indiatoday.in/fact-check/story/covid-19-testing-kit-fact-check-coronavirus-1658750-2020-03-23\">Several</a> <a href=\"https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2020/03/27/us/ap-not-real-news.html\">other</a> <a href=\"https://factcheck.afp.com/us-president-donald-trump-did-not-announce-coronavirus-vaccine-was-ready\">fact-checkers</a> have debunked the false news articles. While clinical trials have started for some potential vaccines, they are still at least a year away from being completed.</p>\n\n<p>The image in the article claims to show a COVID-19 vaccine, but it&rsquo;s actually <a href=\"https://sugentech.com/products/products-view.php?ct=7&amp;target=32%27\">a testing kit</a> developed by a Korean biotechnology company. Similar out-of-context images have circulated in <a href=\"https://www.altnews.in/image-of-covid-19-test-kit-shared-as-newly-developed-coronavirus-vaccine-by-roche/\">India</a> and <a href=\"https://propakistani.pk/2020/04/01/fact-chect-viral-message-about-this-coronavirus-vaccine-is-fake/\">Pakistan</a>.</p>\n\n<p>Roche, a Swiss pharmaceutical company, <a href=\"https://www.wired.com/story/fda-approves-the-first-commercial-coronavirus-tests-in-the-us/\">has been shipping</a> coronavirus tests to the U.S. and <a href=\"https://www.roche.com/media/releases/med-cor-2020-03-24.htm\">testing</a> a drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis for potential application in severe COVID-19 cases. The company has not developed a coronavirus vaccine.</p>\n\n<p>During <a href=\"https://www.c-span.org/video/?470795-1/president-trump-extend-coronavirus-guidelines-april-30\">a March 29 press briefing</a>, Trump said potential COVID-19 vaccines &quot;are moving along very rapidly.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>The first clinical trial of a potential COVID-19 vaccine <a href=\"https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/nih-clinical-trial-investigational-vaccine-covid-19-begins\">began</a> in Seattle in mid March. The trial will enroll 45 healthy adult volunteers over about six weeks, according to the National Institutes of Health. The potential vaccine was developed by scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and biotechnology company Moderna, Inc.</p>\n\n<p><strong><em>RELATED:</em> <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/article/2020/mar/11/7-ways-avoid-misinformation-during-coronavirus-pan/\">7 ways to avoid misinformation during the coronavirus pandemic</a></strong></p>\n\n<p>In <a href=\"https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2020/03/30/hhs-accelerates-clinical-trials-prepares-manufacturing-covid-19-vaccines.html\">a March 30 press release</a>, the Department of Health and Human Services said it is accelerating clinical trials of that vaccine, as well as another potential COVID-19 vaccine from Janssen Research &amp; Development. But the first phase of the latter trial is set to begin &quot;no later than fall of 2020 with the goal of making COVID-19 vaccine available for emergency use in the United States in early 2021,&quot; according to HHS.</p>\n\n<p>During <a href=\"https://www.c-span.org/video/?470224-1/dr-fauci-warns-congress-coronavirus-outbreak-worse\">his March 11 testimony</a> to the House Oversight and Reform Committee on the coronavirus outbreak, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of NIAID, laid out a timeline for developing a COVID-19 vaccine. He said phase one will take about three months to determine if it&rsquo;s safe, then phase two, during which scientists will test whether the vaccine works, could take another eight months at least.</p>\n\n<p>He cautioned that any process that moves faster than that could be dangerous.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;So when you&rsquo;ve heard me say we would not have a vaccine that would even be ready to start to deploy for a year to a year and a half, that is the time frame,&quot; Fauci told representatives. &quot;Now anyone who thinks that it will go more quickly than that I believe will be cutting corners that would be detrimental.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Public domain records show that some of the websites spreading the bogus articles about a new coronavirus vaccine are registered in Ghana and Nigeria. Both countries <a href=\"https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/12/world/russia-ghana-troll-farms-2020-ward/index.html\">have recently been linked</a> to Russian disinformation campaigns, and websites associated with Russia and China <a href=\"https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/28/us/politics/china-russia-coronavirus-disinformation.html\">have amplified</a> conspiracies about the coronavirus in the past few weeks. Other stories were published by shell websites and promoted on Opera News Hub, <a href=\"https://investor.opera.com/news-releases/news-release-details/opera-launches-opera-news-hub-new-online-media-platform-where\">a content creation platform</a> that&rsquo;s popular in Nigeria.</p>\n\n<p>The articles are inaccurate and make a ridiculous claim. We rate them Pants on Fire!</p>",
            "sources": "<p>Agence France-Presse, &quot;<a href=\"https://factcheck.afp.com/us-president-donald-trump-did-not-announce-coronavirus-vaccine-was-ready\">US President Donald Trump did not announce a coronavirus vaccine was &#39;ready</a>,&rsquo;&quot; March 25, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Alt News, &quot;<a href=\"https://www.altnews.in/image-of-covid-19-test-kit-shared-as-newly-developed-coronavirus-vaccine-by-roche/\">Image of COVID-19 test kit shared as newly developed &lsquo;coronavirus vaccine&rsquo; by Roche</a>,&quot; March 23, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Associated Press, &quot;<a href=\"https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2020/03/27/us/ap-not-real-news.html\">NOT REAL NEWS: Debunking Yet More False Coronavirus Content</a>,&quot; March 27, 2020</p>\n\n<p>CNN, &quot;<a href=\"https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/12/world/russia-ghana-troll-farms-2020-ward/index.html\">Russian election meddling is back -- via Ghana and Nigeria -- and in your feeds</a>,&quot; March 13, 2020</p>\n\n<p>C-SPAN, &quot;<a href=\"https://www.c-span.org/video/?470224-1/dr-fauci-warns-congress-coronavirus-outbreak-worse\">House Oversight and Reform Committee Hearing on Coronavirus Response, Day 1</a>,&quot; March 11, 2020</p>\n\n<p>C-SPAN, &quot;<a href=\"https://www.c-span.org/video/?470795-1/president-trump-extend-coronavirus-guidelines-april-30\">White House Coronavirus Task Force Briefing</a>,&quot; March 29, 2020</p>\n\n<p>India Today, &quot;<a href=\"https://www.indiatoday.in/fact-check/story/covid-19-testing-kit-fact-check-coronavirus-1658750-2020-03-23\">Fact Check: Image of Covid-19 testing kit passed off as vaccine on social media</a>,&quot; March 23, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Ktkmediagh.com, &quot;<a href=\"https://web.archive.org/web/20200401151439/https://ktkmediagh.com/trump-announce-name-of-vaccine-to-cure-corona-virus-in-three-hours/\">Trump Announce Name Of Vaccine To Cure Corona Virus In Three Hours</a>,&quot; March 24, 2020</p>\n\n<p>National Institutes of Health, &quot;<a href=\"https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/nih-clinical-trial-investigational-vaccine-covid-19-begins\">NIH clinical trial of investigational vaccine for COVID-19 begins</a>,&quot; March 16, 2020</p>\n\n<p>The New York Times, &quot;<a href=\"https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/28/us/politics/china-russia-coronavirus-disinformation.html\">As Virus Spreads, China and Russia See Openings for Disinformation</a>,&quot; March 28, 2020</p>\n\n<p>News-af.feednews.com, &quot;<a href=\"https://web.archive.org/web/20200401151427/https://news-af.feednews.com/news/detail/c46361cb8a98f304102ec00836eaa5bd?client=news\">Trump Announce Name Of Vaccine To Cure Corona Virus In Three Hours</a>,&quot; March 24, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Newsliteng.com, &quot;<a href=\"https://web.archive.org/web/20200401151445/https://newsliteng.com/trump-announce-name-of-vaccine-to-cure-corona-virus-in-three-hours/\">Trump Announce Name Of Vaccine To Cure Corona Virus In Three Hours</a>,&quot; March 25, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Opera, &quot;<a href=\"https://investor.opera.com/news-releases/news-release-details/opera-launches-opera-news-hub-new-online-media-platform-where\">Opera launches Opera News Hub, a new online media platform where content creators can reach over 350 million people</a>,&quot; Nov. 12, 2019</p>\n\n<p>Opr.news, &quot;<a href=\"https://web.archive.org/web/20200401150453/http://opr.news/news/detail/c46361cb8a98f304102ec00836eaa5bd?product=news&amp;fbclid=IwAR1vEtbb7jOhkp6QY9Wee2I14Yii51jiTBznA3BKVzlO_hl1Wpnd6Aoeh4o\">Trump Announce Name Of Vaccine To Cure Corona Virus In Three Hours</a>,&quot; March 24, 2020</p>\n\n<p>ProPakistani, &quot;<a href=\"https://propakistani.pk/2020/04/01/fact-chect-viral-message-about-this-coronavirus-vaccine-is-fake/\">Fact Check: Viral Message About a Coronavirus Vaccine is Fake</a>,&quot; April 1, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Roche, &quot;<a href=\"https://www.roche.com/media/releases/med-cor-2020-03-24.htm\">Roche response to COVID-19 pandemic</a>,&quot; March 24, 2020</p>\n\n<p>U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, &quot;<a href=\"https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2020/03/30/hhs-accelerates-clinical-trials-prepares-manufacturing-covid-19-vaccines.html\">HHS Accelerates Clinical Trials, Prepares for Manufacturing of COVID-19 Vaccines</a>,&quot; March 30, 2020</p>\n\n<p><a href=\"http://whois.com\">WhoIs</a>, accessed April 1, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Wired, &quot;<a href=\"https://www.wired.com/story/fda-approves-the-first-commercial-coronavirus-tests-in-the-us/\">FDA Approves the First Commercial Coronavirus Tests in the US</a>,&quot; March 16, 2020</p>"
        },
        {
            "id": 18265,
            "slug": "ron-johnson-say-americans-back-work-coronavirus",
            "speaker": {
                "slug": "facebook-posts",
                "full_name": "Facebook posts",
                "first_name": "",
                "last_name": "Facebook posts"
            },
            "targets": [],
            "statement": "Says Ron Johnson said Americans should go back to work, because \"death is an unavoidable part of life.\"",
            "ruling_slug": "half-true",
            "publication_date": "2020-04-01T14:59:27-04:00",
            "ruling_comments": "<p>Leaders across the country are largely unanimous in calling for compliance with dramatic social changes to slow the spread of the coronavirus.</p>\n\n<p>U.S. Sen<a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/personalities/ron-johnson/\"> Ron Johnson</a>, a Wisconsin Republican elected after a long career in the business world, struck a slightly different chord in a<a href=\"https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/todaysdebate/2020/03/29/coronavirus-put-things-into-perspective-ron-johnson-editorials-debates/2937302001/\"> guest column</a> in USA TODAY.</p>\n\n<p>The piece drew plenty of attention online and across social media, including an<a href=\"https://mavenroundtable.io/theintellectualist/news/ron-johnson-americans-should-go-back-to-work-death-is-an-cG1Rs0X86kK4KNPYbD1GKg\"> article</a> published March 31, 2020, that has been shared widely on Facebook.</p>\n\n<p>That article summarized Johnson&rsquo;s column with this headline: &quot;Ron Johnson: Americans Should Go Back To Work, Because &lsquo;Death Is An Unavoidable Part Of Life.&rsquo;&quot;</p>\n\n<p>This post was flagged as part of Facebook&rsquo;s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our <a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536?helpref=related\">partnership with Facebook</a>.)&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Let&rsquo;s see how that summary lines up with Johnson&rsquo;s piece.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">What the column said</div>\n\n<p>The headline implies Johnson is calling for a widespread &mdash;&nbsp;or even comprehensive &mdash;&nbsp;return to work.</p>\n\n<p>The Johnson piece in USA Today, published March 29, 2020, makes clear at the start he is not calling for any such immediate return to normalcy. Here is how it reads:</p>\n\n<p style=\"margin-left: 40px;\"><em>I&rsquo;m not aware of any public official, including President Donald Trump, who is calling for a complete opening of the U.S. economy.</em></p>\n\n<p style=\"margin-left: 40px;\"><em>What more people are saying is that as we learn more about COVID-19, we should evaluate the total societal cost of this awful disease and try to put things into perspective. &hellip;</em></p>\n\n<p style=\"margin-left: 40px;\"><em>Imagine the potential psychological and human toll if this shutdown continues indefinitely, unemployment reaches 20% or higher, as some now predict, and we sink into a deep recession or depression.</em></p>\n\n<p>Johnson says social distancing &quot;should continue until this outbreak is under control.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>But he did also reference death being unavoidable. Here&rsquo;s the full context for that line:</p>\n\n<p style=\"margin-left: 40px;\"><em>Every premature death is a tragedy, but death is an unavoidable part of life. More than 2.8 million die each year &mdash; nearly 7,700 a day. The 2017-18 flu season was exceptionally bad, with 61,000 deaths attributed to it. Can you imagine the panic if those mortality statistics were attributed to a new virus and reported nonstop?</em></p>\n\n<p>Johnson goes on to call for reversing the current labeling of &quot;essential businesses,&quot; saying we should instead determine nonessential business &quot;that pose a risk for coronavirus spread.&quot; He said those could be shut down and financial support provided to the employees and businesses until they can re-open.</p>\n\n<p>The brief story linked in the Facebook post describes Johnson&rsquo;s position more accurately than the headline, though it also opens by labeling him &quot;the living embodiment of clueless privilege.&quot;</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Our ruling</div>\n\n<p>A viral Facebook post said Johnson is saying &quot;Americans should go back to work, because &#39;death is an unavoidable part of life.&#39;&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Johnson did use the line about death being unavoidable, but the headline exaggerates his position, implying he thinks all or most people should go back to work. He explicitly says he supports social distancing and keeping some businesses closed at this point.</p>\n\n<p>We rate this Half True.</p>\n\n<div class=\"artembed\">See Figure 1 on PolitiFact.com</div>",
            "sources": "<p>USA TODAY,&nbsp;<a href=\"https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/todaysdebate/2020/03/29/coronavirus-put-things-into-perspective-ron-johnson-editorials-debates/2937302001/\">Sen. Johnson: As we learn more about the coronavirus, try to put things into perspective</a>, March 29, 2020</p>\n\n<p>The Intellectualist,&nbsp;<a href=\"https://mavenroundtable.io/theintellectualist/news/ron-johnson-americans-should-go-back-to-work-death-is-an-cG1Rs0X86kK4KNPYbD1GKg\">Ron Johnson: Americans Should Go Back To Work, Because &quot;Death Is An Unavoidable Part Of Life,&quot;</a> March 31, 2020</p>"
        },
        {
            "id": 18264,
            "slug": "are-nc-hospital-beds-typically-85-full",
            "speaker": {
                "slug": "jeff-jackson",
                "full_name": "Jeff Jackson",
                "first_name": "Jeff",
                "last_name": "Jackson"
            },
            "targets": [],
            "statement": "Says North Carolina \"hospital beds are typically 85% full across the state.”",
            "ruling_slug": "half-true",
            "publication_date": "2020-04-01T13:42:48-04:00",
            "ruling_comments": "<p>Hospitals are preparing for an influx of patients as the novel coronavirus spreads across the U.S.</p>\n\n<p>With that in mind, North Carolina state Sen. Jeff Jackson has tried to keep his constituents informed by posting on social media.</p>\n\n<p>Jackson, a Mecklenburg County Democrat, regularly tweets stats about the pandemic. And on March 19, he urged people to reschedule elective procedures to free up space for coronavirus patients.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;Hospitals are starting to cancel elective surgeries and doing their best to empty hospital beds to prepare for a surge. Our hospital beds are typically 85% full across the state. If we don&#39;t significantly reduce that number within the next week, that&#39;s a major problem,&quot; Jackson <a href=\"https://twitter.com/JeffJacksonNC/status/1240687991581859841\">tweeted</a>.</p>\n\n<p>Is it true that, under normal circumstances, hospitals operate at 85% capacity?</p>\n\n<p>We couldn&rsquo;t find a supporting number. But we did learn that it&rsquo;s normal for NC hospitals to treat patients while their facilities are close to being full.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Accustomed to high capacity</div>\n\n<p>We reached out to Jackson about his tweet. He said he heard the figure from officials with North Carolina&rsquo;s Department of Health and Human Services. So we reached out to them.</p>\n\n<p>DHHS spokeswoman SarahLewis Peel responded by email, but didn&rsquo;t give an exact number.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;On any given day, our hospitals &mdash; by design &mdash; operate at 90 to 100% capacity. That&rsquo;s why we have sought waivers to allow critical access hospitals to operate above their licensed capacity,&quot; Peel wrote.</p>\n\n<p>DHHS later clarified that those numbers are usually during flu season and that evidence is anecdotal. It&rsquo;s from speaking with hospital managers and suppliers.</p>\n\n<p>David Weber, the associate chief medical officer at UNC Health, told <a href=\"https://www.northcarolinahealthnews.org/2020/03/26/covid-19-icu-beds/\">NC Health News</a> something similar. He said that, with the closure and downsizing of many rural hospitals, there are fewer beds overall across the state.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;The U.S., compared to years ago, has less open beds and on a normal busy week, you know, most of our hospitals, including UNC, would be running between 90 and 100% occupancy,&quot; he said.</p>\n\n<p>However, we need hard numbers -- not anecdotes -- to get the most accurate picture.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Other estimates</div>\n\n<p>So, what stats are available? The North Carolina Health Association had a lower estimate, but its latest figures are from 2018.</p>\n\n<p>Cynthia Charles, the association&rsquo;s vice president for communications, pointed to statistics from the <a href=\"https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/2017/089.pdf\">U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention</a>. In 2015, the average US hospital occupancy rate was 65.5 percent.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;For North Carolina, (the) average hospital occupancy rate is 61% for 2018,&quot; she said.</p>\n\n<p>Other estimates PolitiFact found put the average occupancy rate in the 60-to-75 percent range.</p>\n\n<p>Charles noted that people may get different estimates depending on how they account for beds, among other things.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;There could be a difference in how they&rsquo;re defining capacity, for example whether they are looking at licensed vs. staffed beds, or whether they are considering &lsquo;current state&rsquo; staffing as capacity,&quot; she said.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Bigger hospitals, fuller spaces</div>\n\n<p>Mark Holmes, director of UNC&rsquo;s Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, agreed with Charles. Holmes said there are different ways to count beds and averages. Staffing levels could also come into play, he said.</p>\n\n<p>Holmes and his colleagues recently analyzed cost reports filed to Medicare in 2018. Those numbers suggested a 58% occupancy average, he said. It&rsquo;s likely that some small, rural hospitals bring down the statewide average.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;Some of our smaller hospitals are at less than 20%,&quot; he said. &quot;But larger ones &mdash; like Duke and UNC&mdash; are indeed at 85% on average throughout the year.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>The Sheps Center recently published a <a href=\"https://www.shepscenter.unc.edu/programs-projects/rural-health/projects/north-carolina-rural-health-research-and-policy-analysis-center/publications/\">study </a>of NC hospital occupancy rates.</p>\n\n<p>Important final point: hospital capacity should not be viewed as the sole indicator of whether it can continue treating patients, Holmes said.</p>\n\n<p>Hospitals need four things to properly treat patients, he said:</p>\n\n<ol>\n\t<li>square feet&nbsp;</li>\n\t<li>a license from the government</li>\n\t<li>equipment (including beds), and&nbsp;</li>\n\t<li>qualified staff.&nbsp;&nbsp;</li>\n</ol>\n\n<p>Hospitals may face limits in terms of square footage, Holmes said. But some government agencies are relaxing those regulations and hospitals are creating space where they can, such as dormitories.</p>\n\n<p>Indeed, Weber said UNC Health is shifting its units around and even using tents outside to triage and treat people with ailments that aren&rsquo;t as serious as COVID-19.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;So the square feet and licenses are less important than, in general, the attention they often receive,&quot; Holmes said in an email. &quot;Most people who study this issue think the biggest limitations to capacity are equipment&mdash; e.g. ventilators &mdash; and qualified staff, especially as the epidemic infects staff and their family members.&quot;</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Our ruling</div>\n\n<p>Jackson said North Carolina&rsquo;s hospital beds &quot;are typically 85% full across the state.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>The way he worded his tweet makes it seems like all hospitals are usually at 85% capacity. That&rsquo;s not right. It depends on the hospital and it depends on the season.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>But he has a point that many of North Carolina&rsquo;s hospitals routinely treat patients while their facilities are close to maximum capacity. So we rate his claim Half True.</p>",
            "sources": "<p><a href=\"https://twitter.com/JeffJacksonNC/status/1240687991581859841\">Tweet</a> by NC Sen. Jeff Jackson (D-Mecklenburg County)</p>\n\n<p>Email correspondence with SarahLewis Peel, spokeswoman for North Carolina&rsquo;s Department of Health and Human Services.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Email correspondence with Mark Holmes, director of UNC&rsquo;s Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research.</p>\n\n<p>Email correspondence with Cynthia Charles, vice president for communications for the North Carolina Health Association.</p>\n\n<p>Telephone interview with Tracy Zimmerman, external affairs for North Carolina DHHS secretary Mandy Cohen.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Story by the News &amp; Observer, &quot;<a href=\"https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article241301046.html\">Not enough hospital beds in North Carolina for coronavirus patients, report says</a>,&quot; posted March 18, 2020.</p>\n\n<p>Story by North Carolina Health News, &quot;<a href=\"https://www.northcarolinahealthnews.org/2020/03/26/covid-19-icu-beds/\">Will North Carolina have enough hospital beds to handle the surge of coronavirus patients? The answer remains unclear</a>,&quot; posted March 26, 2020.</p>\n\n<p>Study by the UNC Cecil Sheps Center for Health Services Research, &quot;<a href=\"https://www.shepscenter.unc.edu/programs-projects/rural-health/projects/north-carolina-rural-health-research-and-policy-analysis-center/publications/\">Occupancy Rates in Rural and Urban Hospitals: Value and Limitations in Use as a Measure of Surge Capacity</a>,&quot; published in March 2020.</p>\n\n<p><a href=\"https://schs.dph.ncdhhs.gov/data/pocketguide/2013/table6_0715.pdf\">Pocket guide</a> showing North Carolina hospital occupancy rates in 2011.</p>\n\n<p>Findings by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, &quot;<a href=\"https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/2017/089.pdf\">Hospitals, beds, and occupancy rates, by type of ownership and size of hospital: United States,</a>&nbsp;<a href=\"https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/2017/089.pdf\">selected years 1975&ndash;2015</a>.&quot;</p>"
        },
        {
            "id": 18263,
            "slug": "does-richmond-pay-top-school-officials-more-fairfa",
            "speaker": {
                "slug": "kim-gray",
                "full_name": "Kim Gray",
                "first_name": "Kim",
                "last_name": "Gray"
            },
            "targets": [],
            "statement": "“Even Fairfax County doesn’t pay the kind of (school administration) salaries that Richmond is paying right now.”",
            "ruling_slug": "false",
            "publication_date": "2020-04-01T10:38:05-04:00",
            "ruling_comments": "<p>Richmond City Councilwoman Kim Gray recently announced she&rsquo;ll run for mayor this year, promising to be stricter on spending than incumbent Levar Stoney.</p>\n\n<p>Gray has been a constant critic of Stoney, accusing him of being more interested in higher office and grandiose plans than solving Richmond&rsquo;s core problems. She led a charge that defeated Stoney&rsquo;s signature proposal to replace the Richmond Coliseum and has opposed the mayor&rsquo;s efforts to increase taxes on meals and real estate.</p>\n\n<p>During a March 3 radio <a href=\"https://newsradiowrva.radio.com/media/audio-channel/kim-gray-mar-3-202\">interview</a> on WRVA, Gray said Richmond doesn&rsquo;t need higher taxes, it needs greater government efficiency - especially in its school system.</p>\n\n<p>Host John Reid asked what she would do differently than Stoney about schools. Gray said she&rsquo;d look for savings in the school system&rsquo;s central office.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;I would lose some of the top-heavy weight,&quot; said Gray, a former Richmond School Board member. &quot;We&rsquo;re paying people exorbitant salaries, higher than the average across the entire Commonwealth. Even Fairfax County doesn&rsquo;t pay the kind of salaries that Richmond is paying right now.&quot;&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Fairfax is one of the <a href=\"https://www.foxbusiness.com/money/washington-dc-suburbs-richest-counties\">wealthiest counties</a> in the nation and has a high cost of living. We fact-checked Gray&rsquo;s claim that it pays school administrators less than Richmond.</p>\n\n<p>Gray told us she was referring to the salaries of Richmond Superintendent Jason Kamras, who was hired in 2018, and his top five administrators. She said she was under the impression they were paid more than their Fairfax counterparts, but didn&rsquo;t have proof. So, under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, we requested the top 10 salaries paid by Richmond and Fairfax public schools.</p>\n\n<p>Here&rsquo;s what we found:</p>\n\n<ul>\n\t<li>\n\t<p>As a general rule, salaries are about 20% higher in Fairfax for comparable jobs.&nbsp;</p>\n\t</li>\n\t<li>\n\t<p>Fairfax pays nine administrators more than $200,000 a year, compared to one in Richmond.</p>\n\t</li>\n\t<li>\n\t<p>Richmond Superintendent Kamras has a $250,000 salary; Fairfax Superintendent Scott Brayband is paid $311,526.</p>\n\t</li>\n\t<li>\n\t<p>The <a href=\"https://www.rvaschools.net/site/Default.aspx?PageType=3&amp;DomainID=4&amp;PageID=1&amp;ViewID=6446ee88-d30c-497e-9316-3f8874b3e108&amp;FlexDataID=19869\">five</a> people on Kamras&rsquo; leadership team in Richmond are paid between $175,250 and $180,547. The seven people on Brayband&rsquo;s leadership team in Fairfax are paid between $202,478 and $224,447.</p>\n\t</li>\n</ul>\n\n<p>As we&rsquo;ve mentioned, it&rsquo;s far more expensive to live in Fairfax than Richmond, largely because of housing costs. <a href=\"https://www.salary.com/research/cost-of-living\">Salary.com</a> says Fairfax County&rsquo;s cost of living is 61% higher than Richmond&rsquo;s; <a href=\"https://www.payscale.com/cost-of-living-calculator\">Payscale.com</a> says it&rsquo;s 50% higher. Those costs exceed the 20% salary bump the Fairfax school administrators have over their Richmond counterparts.</p>\n\n<p>In other words, the Richmond salaries have more purchasing power.</p>\n\n<p><strong>Our ruling</strong></p>\n\n<p>Gray, in complaining about what she sees as the high pay of top Richmond school officials, said, &quot;even Fairfax doesn&rsquo;t pay the kind of salaries Richmond is paying.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>That suggests Richmond administrators are taking home bigger checks than their Fairfax counterparts. That&rsquo;s what Gray told us she thought, and it&rsquo;s wrong. Actually, they&rsquo;re taking home 20 percent less pay.</p>\n\n<p>If Gray, in the future, wants to compare the pay of school administrators adjusted for cost of living, she should specify that.</p>\n\n<p>But as for the comment she made, it&rsquo;s False.</p>\n\n<p>&nbsp;</p>",
            "sources": "<p>Kim Gray, <a href=\"https://newsradiowrva.radio.com/media/audio-channel/kim-gray-mar-3-2020\">Comments on Newsradio WRVA</a>, March 3, 2020 (5:32 mark).</p>\n\n<p>Interview with Gray, March 3, 2020.</p>\n\n<p>Richmond Public Schools, Email on top 10 salaries for 2019-2020 school year, March 9, 2019.</p>\n\n<p>Fairfax County Public Schools, Email on top 10 salaries for 2019-2020 school year, March 11, 2020.</p>\n\n<p>Richmond Public Schools, &quot;<a href=\"https://www.rvaschools.net/site/Default.aspx?PageType=3&amp;DomainID=4&amp;PageID=1&amp;ViewID=6446ee88-d30c-497e-9316-3f8874b3e108&amp;FlexDataID=19869\">Superintendent Kamras announces new leadership team</a>.&quot;&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Fox Business, &quot;<a href=\"https://www.foxbusiness.com/money/washington-dc-suburbs-richest-counties\">The 20 wealthiest counties in the U.S</a>&hellip;,&quot; Dec. 18, 2019.</p>\n\n<p>Payscale.com, <a href=\"https://www.payscale.com/cost-of-living-calculator\">Cost-of-living calculator</a>, accessed March 23, 2020.</p>\n\n<p>Salary.com, <a href=\"https://www.salary.com/research/cost-of-living\">Cost-of-living calculator</a>, accessed March 23, 2020.</p>\n\n<p>&nbsp;</p>"
        },
        {
            "id": 18238,
            "slug": "fabricated-quote-falsely-attributed-italian-prime-",
            "speaker": {
                "slug": "facebook-posts",
                "full_name": "Facebook posts",
                "first_name": "",
                "last_name": "Facebook posts"
            },
            "targets": [],
            "statement": "Says Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said, “We have lost control, we have killed the epidemic physically and mentally. Can’t understand what more we can do, all solutions are exhausted on ground. Our only hope remains up in the Sky, God rescue your people.”",
            "ruling_slug": "pants-fire",
            "publication_date": "2020-04-01T08:55:32-04:00",
            "ruling_comments": "<p>Italy has reported the most deaths in the world related to the coronavirus and doctors in the country report a dire situation amid an overwhelmed medical system. But we found no public record of Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte saying of the situation &quot;we have lost control&quot; and &quot;God rescue your people,&quot; contrary to the claim of a Facebook post.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;We have lost control, we have killed the epidemic physically and mentally. Can&rsquo;t understand what more we can do, all solutions are exhausted on ground. Our only hope remains up in the Sky, God rescue your people,&quot; said a <a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10214496572122685&amp;set=a.4617092559943&amp;type=3\">Facebook post</a> from March 22.</p>\n\n<p>The post includes emojis of crying faces and Italian flags along with a picture of a man with tears rolling down his face, a microphone near his lips. The post implies the picture is of the Italian prime minister crying. It is not.</p>\n\n<p>The man in the picture is Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro. The <a href=\"https://www.poder360.com.br/governo/bolsonaro-chora-ao-lembrar-de-facada-em-culto-evangelico-no-planalto/\">image</a> is from December 2019 and was taken at an event unrelated to the coronavirus. It shows Bolsonaro crying when he spoke about being stabbed in 2018 during his election campaign, according to a Brazilian website, poder360.com.</p>\n\n<p>In a March 17 <a href=\"https://twitter.com/GiuseppeConteIT/status/1239840415165157376\">Twitter thread</a>, Conte said the country has faced a thousand difficulties in the past, including world wars and a fascist regime, but has endured them with heads held high. Alluding to the coronavirus pandemic, he said the country was facing a new test and would defeat the invisible enemy. His tweets reflect a different tone than the message of defeat we see in the Facebook quote.</p>\n\n<p>We searched for the quote attributed to Conte using Nexis news archives and online search engines but found no reporting or government statement indicating he said it.</p>\n\n<p>We rate this Pants on Fire!</p>",
            "sources": "<p><a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10214496572122685&amp;set=a.4617092559943&amp;type=3\">Facebook post</a>, March 22, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Twitter, @GiuseppeConteIT <a href=\"https://twitter.com/GiuseppeConteIT/status/1239840415165157376\">tweet</a>, March 17, 2020</p>\n\n<p><a href=\"https://www.poder360.com.br/governo/bolsonaro-chora-ao-lembrar-de-facada-em-culto-evangelico-no-planalto/\">Article on poder360.com on Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro</a>, Dec. 17, 2019</p>"
        },
        {
            "id": 18285,
            "slug": "will-homemade-masks-stop-coronavirus-spreading-fac",
            "speaker": {
                "slug": "pat-toomey",
                "full_name": "Pat Toomey",
                "first_name": "Pat",
                "last_name": "Toomey"
            },
            "targets": [],
            "statement": "“My mask will keep someone else safe and their mask will keep me safe.”",
            "ruling_slug": "true",
            "publication_date": "2020-04-01T06:00:00-04:00",
            "ruling_comments": "<p>Last weekend, U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey recorded a message about how to stop the spread of the coronavirus and <a href=\"https://twitter.com/SenToomey/status/1244068464291176448\">posted it on Twitter</a>. His message was simple and direct &ndash; start wearing a homemade mask when you leave the house.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;My mask will keep someone else safe and their mask will keep me safe,&quot; said Toomey, a Republican from the Lehigh Valley. &quot;I&rsquo;m not suggesting this is any kind of guarantee. It probably doesn&rsquo;t have tremendous value for the person wearing the mask but it probably does significantly reduce the risk that people could inadvertently transmit it.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Since masks for health care workers are in such <a href=\"https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/03/16/814929294/covid-19-has-caused-a-shortage-of-face-masks-but-theyre-surprisingly-hard-to-mak\">short supply</a>, we wondered whether Toomey&rsquo;s claim is true.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>For weeks, <a href=\"https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fprepare%2Fprevention.html\">public health officials</a> advised healthy Americans not to wear masks. But on Friday, President Donald Trump announced that the <a href=\"https://www.latimes.com/science/story/2020-04-03/cdc-recommends-wearing-face-masks-during-coronavirus-pandemic\">guidance had changed</a>. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now urging everyone to wear homemade cloth masks when they leave the house, just as Toomey called for a week ago. He was the first member of Congress to advocate for the shift.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>But even as Trump announced the new rules, he said he didn&rsquo;t plan to <a href=\"https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/04/03/white-house-cdc-turf-battle-over-guidance-broad-use-face-masks-fight-coronavirus/\">follow them himself</a>.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;It&rsquo;s voluntary so you don&rsquo;t have to do it,&quot; Trump said at Friday&rsquo;s daily coronavirus briefing. &quot;They suggest it for a period of time. I don&rsquo;t think I&rsquo;m going to be doing it.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Trump said the guidance shifted because research indicates that people who are infected with the coronavirus but aren&rsquo;t showing any symptoms can still transmit the disease. He also reiterated that wearing homemade masks is not a replacement for other strategies such as social distancing and hand-washing.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;We want to make sure everybody understands it&rsquo;s not a substitute for the presidential guidelines that have already gone out,&quot; Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, said Thursday.</p>\n\n<p>Toomey got another thing right. Homemade masks are significantly more effective at preventing asymptomatic carriers of the virus from accidentally spreading it than they are at shielding a healthy person from contracting it. And the efficacy of any homemade mask depends on how it&rsquo;s made.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>The most effective homemade masks are made of thick cloth and make a tight seal around the wearer&rsquo;s face.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;Given the current crisis, and lacking an alternative, many layers of densely woven fabric would be the most effective, because it allows for lots of voids in the layers where particles can be trapped,&quot; Richard Peltier, an assistant professor of environmental health sciences at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, told us by email. &quot;The mask needs to seal as tightly as possible to the face to avoid leaks, though this may not be possible with different designs, fabrics, or face shapes. Thin or porous fabrics are the least likely to be effective.&quot;</p>\n\n<p><a href=\"https://academic.oup.com/annweh/article/54/7/789/202744\">A study</a> published in October 2010 tested how cloth masks and common fabrics fared when sprayed with aerosols at different speeds. All of the materials performed worse than hospital-grade N95 respirators. But some, such as cotton towels and scarves, were in the range of some surgical masks. The authors cautioned that fabric materials &quot;show only marginal filtration performance against virus-size particles when sealed around the edges.&quot;</p>\n\n<p><a href=\"https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/disaster-medicine-and-public-health-preparedness/article/testing-the-efficacy-of-homemade-masks-would-they-protect-in-an-influenza-pandemic/0921A05A69A9419C862FA2F35F819D55\">Another study</a> from 2013 found that cotton masks only perform about half as well as surgical masks and &quot;should only be considered as a last resort to prevent droplet transmission from infected individuals.&quot; More recent research<a href=\"https://www.nature.com/articles/jes201642\"> had similar results</a>.</p>\n\n<p>So at best, using thick or layered fabric to make a homemade mask could be as effective as using some surgical masks. At worst, it prevents at least some of your respiratory droplets from spreading to others while in public.</p>\n\n<p>Under ideal circumstances,<a href=\"https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/pdfs/UnderstandDifferenceInfographic-508.pdf\"> no face masks</a> are intended to be worn for more than one encounter. That guidance also extends to homemade masks.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;At the end of the day, these cloth masks should be treated as contaminated materials that you bring in to your home &mdash; they need to be laundered in hot soapy water, and you&rsquo;d need to consider sanitizing in bleach or hydrogen peroxide regularly,&quot; Peltier said.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Our ruling&nbsp;</div>\n\n<p>Toomey&rsquo;s claim that his homemade mask would keep someone else safe and that someone else&rsquo;s homemade mask would keep him safe matches the latest guidance from the CDC. We rate this statement True.&nbsp;</p>",
            "sources": "<p>The Annals of Occupational Hygiene, &quot;<a href=\"https://academic.oup.com/annweh/article/54/7/789/202744\">Simple Respiratory Protection&mdash;Evaluation of the Filtration Performance of Cloth Masks and Common Fabric Materials Against 20&ndash;1000 nm Size Particles</a>,&quot; October 2010</p>\n\n<p>Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, <a href=\"https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/respirator-use-faq.html\">Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Frequently Asked Questions about Personal Protective Equipment</a>, accessed March 31, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, <a href=\"https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-covid-spreads.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fprepare%2Ftransmission.html\">Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): How Coronavirus Spreads</a>, accessed April 1, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, <a href=\"https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fprepare%2Fprevention.html\">Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): How to Protect Yourself</a>, accessed March 31, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, <a href=\"https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/ppe-strategy/face-masks.html\">Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of Facemasks</a>, accessed March 31, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, <a href=\"https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html\">Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Symptoms of Coronavirus</a>, accessed March 31, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, <a href=\"https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/pdfs/UnderstandDifferenceInfographic-508.pdf\">Infographic - Understanding the Difference, Surgical Mask, N95 Respirator</a>, accessed March 31, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, <a href=\"https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/topics/respirators/disp_part/n95list1.html\">NIOSH-Approved N95 Particulate Filtering Facepiece Respirators</a>, accessed March 31, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, <a href=\"https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/topics/respirators/disp_part/respsource3surgicaln95.html\">Surgical N95 Respirators</a>, accessed March 31, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Consumer Reports, &quot;<a href=\"https://www.consumerreports.org/coronavirus/do-you-need-a-mask-to-prevent-coronavirus/\">Do You Need a Mask to Prevent Coronavirus?</a>&quot; March 25, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, &quot;<a href=\"https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/disaster-medicine-and-public-health-preparedness/article/testing-the-efficacy-of-homemade-masks-would-they-protect-in-an-influenza-pandemic/0921A05A69A9419C862FA2F35F819D55\">Testing the Efficacy of Homemade Masks: Would They Protect in an Influenza Pandemic?</a>&quot; August 2013</p>\n\n<p>Email interview with Richard Peltier, assistant professor of environmental health sciences at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, March 31, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Journal of Exposure Science &amp; Environmental Epidemiology, &quot;<a href=\"https://www.nature.com/articles/jes201642\">Evaluating the efficacy of cloth facemasks in reducing particulate matter exposure</a>,&quot; Aug. 17, 2016</p>\n\n<p>Los Angeles Times, &quot;CDC recommends wearing face masks during the coronavirus pandemic,&quot; April 3, 2020</p>\n\n<p>NPR, &quot;<a href=\"https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/03/16/814929294/covid-19-has-caused-a-shortage-of-face-masks-but-theyre-surprisingly-hard-to-mak\">COVID-19 Has Caused A Shortage Of Face Masks. But They&#39;re Surprisingly Hard To Make</a>,&quot; March 16, 2020</p>\n\n<p>The Philadelphia Inquirer, &quot;<a href=\"https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/coronavirus-face-mask-homemade-cdc-trump-n95-respirator-masks4all-20200402.html\">People should wear a cloth mask or facial covering when in public, new CDC guidance to say</a>,&quot; April 2, 2020</p>\n\n<p>&nbsp;</p>"
        },
        {
            "id": 18260,
            "slug": "pa-congressman-said-us-coronavirus-trajectory-more",
            "speaker": {
                "slug": "brian-fitzpatrick",
                "full_name": "Brian Fitzpatrick",
                "first_name": "Brian",
                "last_name": "Fitzpatrick"
            },
            "targets": [],
            "statement": "“We’ve got to give the American public a rough estimate of how long we think this is going to take, based mostly on the South Korean model, which seems to be the trajectory that we are on, thankfully, and not the Italian model.”",
            "ruling_slug": "half-true",
            "publication_date": "2020-04-01T06:00:00-04:00",
            "ruling_comments": "<p>Last week, U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick spoke about <a href=\"https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/\">the coronavirus pandemic</a> on a local talk radio show, and he told the host that the outbreak in this country looks more like the one in South Korea than the one in Italy.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;We&rsquo;ve got to give the American public a rough estimate of how long we think this is going to take, based mostly on the South Korean model, which seems to be the trajectory that we are on, thankfully, and not the Italian model,&quot; the Republican congressman from Bucks County said on <a href=\"https://omny.fm/shows/the-dom-giordano-program/brian-fitzpatrick-talks-coronavirus-and-capitol-hi\">The Dom Giordano Program</a>.</p>\n\n<p>We wondered how the spread of the coronavirus in the United States compares with the spread of the disease in other parts of the world.</p>\n\n<p>When Fitzpatrick made those remarks, he was comparing the three countries&rsquo; case fatality rates, said Will Kiley, his spokesperson. That&rsquo;s &quot;the key metric we&rsquo;re all watching,&quot; he added.</p>\n\n<p>Fitzpatrick is right that the <a href=\"https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/03/27/821958435/why-death-rates-from-coronavirus-can-be-deceiving\">fatality rate in the United States</a> roughly matches South Korea&rsquo;s and is far lower than Italy&rsquo;s. But Drexel epidemiologist Michael LeVasseur cautioned against reading too much into those numbers.</p>\n\n<p>The virus appears to be deadlier in Italy because the population there is older, and elderly coronavirus patients are the most likely to die. For example, 23% of people in Italy are over age 65, compared with only 14% in South Korea and 16% in the U.S.</p>\n\n<p>The age-specific case fatality rates in the three countries are about the same, LeVasseur said.</p>\n\n<p>He also pointed out that the <a href=\"https://www.nytimes.com/article/flatten-curve-coronavirus.html\">curve epidemiologists keep talking about</a> depicts the number of coronavirus patients and hospitals&rsquo; capacity to care for them &mdash; not deaths caused by the virus. &quot;<a href=\"https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/coronavirus-covid-19-drew-harris-infographic-20200324.html\">Flattening the curve</a>&quot; means slowing the virus&rsquo; rate of transmission and reducing the number of new cases so that fewer sick people need to seek treatment all at once.</p>\n\n<p>The latest data on coronavirus cases show that South Korea did flatten the curve, while case counts in the United States and Italy keep climbing.</p>\n\n<p>Another way to compare the virus&rsquo; impact in the three countries is to look at their economies.</p>\n\n<p>Fitzpatrick&rsquo;s comments came amid a discussion with Giordano about the economic pain the virus has already <a href=\"https://www.inquirer.com/business/covid-19-wolf-closure-order-manufacturing-supply-chain-20200330.html\">inflicted on Pennsylvania business owners</a>, and how much longer the closures ordered by Gov. Tom Wolf might last. The congressman argued that businesses need to know when things will go back to normal if they have any hope of surviving this crisis.</p>\n\n<p>In South Korea, businesses have remained open even as the country fights the virus, whereas in Italy, businesses have been closed for weeks.</p>\n\n<p>The latest modeling suggests the <a href=\"https://www.axios.com/trump-coronavirus-easter-deadline-a097d2fe-866f-4ca3-9a31-2d56c56cd87c.html\">outbreak will peak in the United States in two weeks</a>. But that doesn&rsquo;t mean that Pennsylvania businesses should necessarily expect to reopen by May, said Nate Wardel, a spokesperson for the State Department of Health. The scarcity of coronavirus tests and the time it takes to get results remain the biggest hurdles to relaxing restrictions.</p>\n\n<p>Asked whether Wolf would use the state&rsquo;s case fatality rate to determine when businesses may reopen, Wardle said it would be one of several metrics used to make that call. And no, he said, the similarity between the fatality rate in the United States and South Korea doesn&rsquo;t mean Pennsylvania is ready for South Korea-style normalcy.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Our ruling</div>\n\n<p>Fitzpatrick said the spread of the coronavirus in the United States matches the spread of the virus in South Korea, not Italy. The U.S. and South Korea have similar case fatality rates &mdash; Italy&rsquo;s is higher &mdash; but all three countries have age-specific mortality rates that are about the same.</p>\n\n<p>In addition, public health experts say the fatality rate wouldn&rsquo;t be the only or the most important metric used to determine when businesses may reopen.</p>\n\n<p>The growth in cases and hospitals&rsquo; capacity to treat new patients is the most important factor, and in that department, the United States looks more like Italy than South Korea. We rate this statement Half True.</p>",
            "sources": "<p>Email interview, Will Kiley, spokesman for U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, March 30, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Phone interview, Michael LeVasseur, assistant professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at Drexel University&rsquo;s Dornslife School of Public Health, March 30, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Phone interview, Amesh Adalja, spokesman for the Infectious Diseases Society of America, March 30, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Phone interview, Nate Wardle, spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of Health</p>\n\n<p><a href=\"https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/03/27/821958435/why-death-rates-from-coronavirus-can-be-deceiving\">NPR</a>, &quot;Why &#39;Death Rates&#39; From Coronavirus Can Be Deceiving,&quot; March 27, 2020</p>\n\n<p><a href=\"https://www.nytimes.com/article/flatten-curve-coronavirus.html\">The New York Times</a>, &quot;Flattening the Coronavirus Curve,&quot; March 27, 2020</p>\n\n<p><a href=\"https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/coronavirus-covid-19-drew-harris-infographic-20200324.html\">The Philadelphia Inquirer</a>, &quot;Flattening the coronavirus curve goes way beyond science | Expert Opinion,&quot; March 24, 2020</p>"
        },
        {
            "id": 18258,
            "slug": "facebook-post-shortchanges-relief-bills-assistance",
            "speaker": {
                "slug": "facebook-posts",
                "full_name": "Facebook posts",
                "first_name": "",
                "last_name": "Facebook posts"
            },
            "targets": [],
            "statement": "Shows a waitress saying, \"I lost my job. But I'll sleep better knowing” that the coronavirus relief bill included funding for the Kennedy Center, refugee resettlement, PBS, and congressional salaries: “Thanks, Democrats”",
            "ruling_slug": "barely-true",
            "publication_date": "2020-03-31T16:32:55-04:00",
            "ruling_comments": "<p>It didn&rsquo;t take long after the enactment of a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill for critics to blame Democrats for larding it with unnecessary spending.</p>\n\n<p>One <a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10221770490039980&amp;set=a.1719061984883&amp;type=3&amp;theater\">Facebook post</a> that was shared at least 15,000 times features a photograph of a smiling, young waitress.</p>\n\n<p>The text says: &quot;I lost my job. But I&#39;ll sleep better knowing: $25 million of (coronavirus) relief aid went to the Kennedy Center. $350,000,000 went to refugee resettlement. $75 million went to PBS. $25 million went to congressional salaries and expenses. Thanks, Democrats. It couldn&#39;t have happened without you.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Some of this text in the post accurately describes elements included in the <a href=\"https://www.politico.com/f/?id=00000171-1429-d270-a773-777f92a00000\">final version of the bill</a>. However, it also includes some inaccuracies, and the broader depiction of the bill &mdash; in which laid-off workers get nothing, at the expense of special interests &mdash; is significantly skewed.</p>\n\n<p>The post was flagged as part of Facebook&rsquo;s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our <a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536?helpref=related\">partnership with Facebook</a>.)&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>We&rsquo;ll take a look at the text, piece by piece.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">&quot;$25 million of (coronavirus) relief aid went to the Kennedy Center.&quot;&nbsp;</div>\n\n<p>This is accurate. The funding would go for such purposes as &quot;deep cleaning,&quot; maintenance, telework upgrades, employee compensation, rent and utilities for the performing arts center. The Kennedy Center is a federal entity funded by ticket revenue and congressional appropriations, so receiving funding through a congressional bill isn&rsquo;t unusual.</p>\n\n<p>In a statement, the Democratic House leadership said that the Kennedy Center has lost more than $20 million in unrecoverable costs from canceled performances and has lost the ability to generate revenue from ticket sales in the interim. &quot;Without the assistance in the bill, the Kennedy Center would become completely insolvent and potentially unable to reopen,&quot; the statement said.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">&quot;$350,000,000 went to refugee resettlement.&quot;</div>\n\n<p>If &quot;refugee resettlement&quot; is supposed to mean resettling refugees in the United States, that&rsquo;s not entirely accurate. The bill doesn&rsquo;t say specifically where the $350 million earmarked for &quot;Department of State migration and refugee assistance&quot; will go, but much of it may end up as humanitarian assistance to other countries as they grapple with internal displacement of individuals and families due to the virus.</p>\n\n<p>Indeed, the Trump administration&rsquo;s State Department touted its role in this regard as recently as a <a href=\"https://www.state.gov/the-united-states-is-leading-the-humanitarian-and-health-assistance-response-to-covid-19/\">March 27 news release</a>.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;The U.S. Government is leading the world&rsquo;s humanitarian and health assistance response to the COVID-19 pandemic,&quot; the release said, citing an initial investment of $274 million for other countries in need, plus the World Health Organization and UNICEF, prior to passage of the relief bill. &quot;We are mobilizing all necessary resources to respond rapidly, both at home and abroad.&quot;</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">&quot;$75 million went to PBS.&quot;</div>\n\n<p>This is broadly accurate. The funding is for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which in turn funds public broadcasters such as PBS.</p>\n\n<p>The bill provides &quot;stabilization support&quot; for stations seeing declines in non-federal revenues. &quot;Public media stations are the backbone for most communities&rsquo; emergency alert, public safety, first-responder and homeland-security services,&quot; the Democratic leadership statement said. &quot;If stations are forced to cut jobs, reduce content and services, or close, the nation&rsquo;s ability to deliver emergency alerts will be significantly diminished.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>As with the money for the Kennedy Center, it is standard practice for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to receive its funding from congressional legislation.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">&quot;$25 million went to congressional salaries and expenses.&quot;</div>\n\n<p>Social media users might think this refers to a pay boost for lawmakers, but we&rsquo;ve previously rated that assertion <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/mar/30/facebook-posts/congress-did-not-give-itself-raise-coronavirus-sti/\">Pants on Fire</a>.</p>\n\n<p>Hollander said there is $25 million for the House in the stimulus to support the chamber&rsquo;s &quot;capability to telework,&quot; including equipment purchases and improvements to the computer network.</p>\n\n<p>There is also money to reimburse the staff of the House Child Care Center, cover the costs of food service contracts and pay the House sergeant-at-arms.</p>\n\n<p>Separately, the Senate <a href=\"https://www.rollcall.com/2020/03/25/coronavirus-economic-relief-package-provides-93-million-cash-infusion-for-legislative-branch/\">is slated</a> to get $10 million from the stimulus; $1 million will go to the sergeant-at-arms&rsquo; office to remain available for coronavirus response, while $9 million will be reserved for &quot;miscellaneous items,&quot; including reimbursement for workers at the Senate Employee Child Care Center.</p>\n\n<p>None of the money in the bill would go toward paying lawmakers anything more than their current salary level.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">&quot;Thanks, Democrats&quot;</div>\n\n<p>While some of these provisions mirror elements of a <a href=\"https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/6379/text?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22airline+carbon+emissions+offsets%22%5D%7D&amp;r=1&amp;s=3#toc-H78943A387D7A45FAB75324C69A5A9287\">bill</a> offered by House Democrats, that bill never received consideration. Instead, the Senate and the House passed a bill drawn up by leading senators of both parties.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>The Senate passed the bill <a href=\"https://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=116&amp;session=2&amp;vote=00080\">96-0</a>, while the House approved it by a voice vote, a method used for widely supported measures. Because almost all members of both parties approved the bills, Republicans and Democrats alike deserve whatever credit or blame comes from the bill.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">The implication that laid-off workers get no assistance</div>\n\n<p>The biggest misleading element of the post is the notion that the laid-off waitress will get nothing out of the bill. <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/article/2020/mar/26/senate-stimulus-bill-whats-it-you/\">That couldn&rsquo;t be more wrong</a>.</p>\n\n<p>First, assuming she earns less than $75,000 a year, she&rsquo;ll get $1,200 tax-free from the government, no strings attached.</p>\n\n<p>Second, the bill includes historically generous add-on amounts to state unemployment payments.</p>\n\n<p>The bill sets aside $260 billion to increase state unemployment payments by $600 a week, or the equivalent of more than $30,000 a year. If the state gives you $400 a week, a fairly typical amount, then you&rsquo;ll be getting a total of $1,000 a week, or the equivalent of $52,000 a year. (If you made less than this before you lost your job, you&rsquo;ll actually be earning more than you did previously, at least during the four months provided for in the bill.)</p>\n\n<p>The bill also incentivizes states to waive waiting periods for receiving benefits, and provides funds for states to lengthen the time limits for receiving their unemployment benefits by 13 weeks.</p>\n\n<p>Meanwhile, in a landmark move, the bill recognizes that gig workers &mdash; from freelancers to Uber drivers &mdash; need economic assistance in times like these. So they will qualify for the enhanced unemployment provisions in the new bill.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Our ruling</div>\n\n<p>A Facebook post shows a waitress saying, &quot;I lost my job. But I&#39;ll sleep better knowing&quot; that the coronavirus relief bill included funding for the Kennedy Center, refugee resettlement, PBS, and congressional salaries: &quot;Thanks, Democrats.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>While the post oversimplifies some of those provisions, they are indeed part of the bill.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>However, the post gives the strong impression that the bill offers nothing to laid-off workers, and that&rsquo;s flat wrong. Every American earning less than the income caps will get a $1,200 check, and anyone who starts drawing unemployment payments will see those topped up by additional federal payments of $600 a month.</p>\n\n<p>Also, the bill that was passed received almost blanket support from both Republicans and Democrats.</p>\n\n<p>We rate the statement Mostly False.</p>",
            "sources": "<p><a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10221770490039980&amp;set=a.1719061984883&amp;type=3&amp;theater\">Facebook post</a>, March 29, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Text of <a href=\"https://www.politico.com/f/?id=00000171-1429-d270-a773-777f92a00000\">coronavirus relief bill</a></p>\n\n<p>Text of House version of coronavirus relief <a href=\"https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/6379/text?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22airline+carbon+emissions+offsets%22%5D%7D&amp;r=1&amp;s=3#toc-H78943A387D7A45FAB75324C69A5A9287\">bill</a></p>\n\n<p>Senate <a href=\"https://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=116&amp;session=2&amp;vote=00080\">roll call vote</a> on coronavirus relief bill</p>\n\n<p>U.S. Department of State, &quot;<a href=\"https://www.state.gov/the-united-states-is-leading-the-humanitarian-and-health-assistance-response-to-covid-19/\">The United States Is Leading the Humanitarian and Health Assistance Response to COVID-19</a>,&quot; March 27, 2020</p>\n\n<p>PolitiFact, &quot;<a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/article/2020/mar/26/senate-stimulus-bill-whats-it-you/\">The Senate stimulus bill: What&rsquo;s in it for you</a>,&quot; March 26, 2020</p>\n\n<p>PolitiFact, &quot;<a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/mar/30/facebook-posts/congress-did-not-give-itself-raise-coronavirus-sti/\">Congress did not give itself a raise in the coronavirus stimulus package</a>,&quot; March 30, 2020</p>"
        },
        {
            "id": 18259,
            "slug": "dont-fall-these-hoaxes-about-students-having-repea",
            "speaker": {
                "slug": "facebook-posts",
                "full_name": "Facebook posts",
                "first_name": "",
                "last_name": "Facebook posts"
            },
            "targets": [],
            "statement": "Says students have to repeat the same grade next year.",
            "ruling_slug": "pants-fire",
            "publication_date": "2020-03-31T15:50:38-04:00",
            "ruling_comments": "<p>As school districts around the country have closed their doors to help combat the spread of COVID-19, <a href=\"https://www.edweek.org/ew/section/multimedia/map-coronavirus-and-school-closures.html\">tens of millions of children</a> have been thrust into virtual classrooms, <a href=\"https://www.npr.org/2020/03/26/821921575/the-biggest-distance-learning-experiment-in-history-week-one\">posing challenges</a> and questions for parents, students and educators.</p>\n\n<p>As of March 30, <a href=\"https://www.newsweek.com/7-states-us-have-now-extended-school-closures-rest-year-1495120\">seven states have extended school closures</a> through the rest of the academic year. But that doesn&rsquo;t mean that students will have to repeat their current grade next year, as recent Facebook posts claim.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Headlines being shared on the social media platform range from &quot;All Pennsylvania kids to repeat their current grade&quot; to &quot;NC governor will require students to repeat their current grade&quot; to &quot;Students might have to repeat a grade according to President Trump.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>These and other, similar posts were flagged as part of Facebook&rsquo;s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our <a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536?helpref=related\">partnership with Facebook</a>.)&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>The links in these posts <a href=\"https://introtimes.com/vip/1030328/all-pennsylvania-kids-to-repeat-their-current-grade-next-year-1366\">lead to</a> <a href=\"https://extra-times.com/nyc/1051840/nc-governor-will-require-students-to-repeat-their-current-grade-97482?fbclid=IwAR1eNLOH4JrT9-dSOEDwGWrHejdQCOSLx7f_NB9p90qyrc3Uxf2JR_DVwCo\">similar</a> <a href=\"https://introtimes.com/vip/1024706/students-might-have-to-repeat-a-grade-according-to-president-trump-20231\">pages</a>: sites that say you got pranked.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Amid fear and uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic, that punchline <a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2627094927569050&amp;set=a.1380332205578668&amp;type=3&amp;theater\">is lost online</a> as people worry that their &quot;babies can&rsquo;t graduate kindergarten.&quot;&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>The pandemic has, of course, disrupted education. A <a href=\"https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2020/03/what-will-happen-if-us-schools-close-coronavirus/607621/\">recent story</a> in the Atlantic says &quot;it&rsquo;s not clear what will happen&quot; if school closures last several months or even a year. In the case of an extended closure, &quot;some students might have to repeat grades when school recommenced, resulting in entire regional cohorts of students who would be older than their classmates nationally for the rest of their lives,&quot; the story says.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>In Florida, <a href=\"https://www.heraldtribune.com/news/20200320/coronavirus-florida-doe-gives-answers-to-some-questions\">according to a story in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune</a>, parents and educators can work together to decide whether a student should repeat a grade if parents are worried about their child missing so much school this year.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>But there have been no blanket directives on a state or federal level that we could find requiring kids to repeat their current grade.</p>\n\n<p>We rate these Facebook posts Pants on Fire.</p>\n\n<div>&nbsp;</div>",
            "sources": "<p>Facebook <a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2627094927569050&amp;set=a.1380332205578668&amp;type=3&amp;theater\">post</a>, March 27, 2020</p>\n\n<p><a href=\"https://introtimes.com/vip/1030328/all-pennsylvania-kids-to-repeat-their-current-grade-next-year-1366\">Prank</a> <a href=\"https://extra-times.com/nyc/1051840/nc-governor-will-require-students-to-repeat-their-current-grade-97482?fbclid=IwAR1eNLOH4JrT9-dSOEDwGWrHejdQCOSLx7f_NB9p90qyrc3Uxf2JR_DVwCo\">web</a> <a href=\"https://introtimes.com/vip/1024706/students-might-have-to-repeat-a-grade-according-to-president-trump-20231\">pages</a>, visited March 31, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Newsweek, <a href=\"https://www.newsweek.com/7-states-us-have-now-extended-school-closures-rest-year-1495120\">Seven states in the U.S. have now extended school closures for the rest of the year</a>, March 30, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Education Week, <a href=\"https://www.edweek.org/ew/section/multimedia/map-coronavirus-and-school-closures.html\">Map: coronavirus and school closures</a>, updated March 30, 2020</p>\n\n<p>NPR, <a href=\"https://www.npr.org/2020/03/26/821921575/the-biggest-distance-learning-experiment-in-history-week-one\">The biggest distance-learning experiment in history: week one</a>, March 26, 2020</p>\n\n<p>The Atlantic, <a href=\"https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2020/03/what-will-happen-if-us-schools-close-coronavirus/607621/\">What could happen if the coronavirus closed schools for days, weeks, or even months</a>, March 8, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Sarasota Herald-Tribune, <a href=\"https://www.heraldtribune.com/news/20200320/coronavirus-florida-doe-gives-answers-to-some-questions\">Coronavirus Florida: DOE gives answers to some questions</a>, March 20, 2020</p>"
        },
        {
            "id": 18257,
            "slug": "wisconsin-coronavirus-cases-peak-april-26-may-22",
            "speaker": {
                "slug": "facebook-posts",
                "full_name": "Facebook posts",
                "first_name": "",
                "last_name": "Facebook posts"
            },
            "targets": [],
            "statement": "Says a study projects Wisconsin’s coronavirus cases will peak on April 26, 2020",
            "ruling_slug": "mostly-true",
            "publication_date": "2020-03-31T13:04:54-04:00",
            "ruling_comments": "<p>Specifics have been hard to come by in this pandemic.</p>\n\n<p>We don&rsquo;t know how many people are infected, how fast the coronavirus is spreading or how long we may need to quarantine.</p>\n\n<p>So the first study to project a date when each state&rsquo;s cases would peak drew a lot of interest -- especially since Wisconsin jumped off the virtual page.</p>\n\n<p>The study, released March 26, 2020, said cases wouldn&rsquo;t peak in Wisconsin until May 22, 2020 &mdash; a month later than most states, and nearly two weeks later than any other state in the nation.</p>\n\n<p>The date went viral.<a href=\"https://spectrumnews1.com/wi/madison/news/2020/03/29/analysis-projects-wisconsin-coronavirus-cases-to-peak-in-may\"> News</a><a href=\"https://wausaupilotandreview.com/2020/03/29/report-wis-coronavirus-cases-to-peak-may-22/\"> outlets</a><a href=\"https://urbanmilwaukee.com/2020/03/28/study-projects-853-covid-19-deaths-in-wisconsin-81114-nationwide/\"> across</a><a href=\"https://www.wrn.com/2020/03/analysis-shows-wisconsin-could-make-it-through-coronavirus-pandemic-without-shortage-of-hospital-beds/\"> the</a><a href=\"https://waow.com/2020/03/30/state-by-state-projection-shows-when-wisconsin-will-peak-during-pandemic/\"> state</a> picked it up, and one<a href=\"https://madison365.com/coronavirus-to-peak-in-wisconsin-may-22-report-says/?fbclid=IwAR3IsVbgG_LMBl0qhR_YV6ueEC9iRUEJnvjIx9DtwfgLMOT2EX99k9n7CMw\"> writeup of the story</a> from Madison365.com received nearly 40,000 comments, reactions and shares on Facebook in a day.</p>\n\n<p>And then the study <a href=\"https://covid19.healthdata.org/projections\">changed</a>.</p>\n\n<p>An updated analysis posted four days after the original study moved Wisconsin&rsquo;s projected peak by almost a month to April 26, 2020.</p>\n\n<p>So what&rsquo;s up with the shift? Which date is right?</p>\n\n<p>This post, when the study offered a May peak, was flagged as part of Facebook&rsquo;s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our <a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536?helpref=related\">partnership with Facebook</a>.)&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Here&rsquo;s what we found.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">The original study</div>\n\n<p>The<a href=\"http://www.healthdata.org/sites/default/files/files/research_articles/2020/COVID-forecasting-03252020_4.pdf\"> analysis</a> from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation &mdash; an independent research center based at the University of Washington &mdash; developed a model projecting coronavirus growth across the United States for the next four months.</p>\n\n<p>It projects deaths as well as a variety of measures of hospital utilization &mdash; beds used, intensive care unit days and ventilators days used. That estimate was based on COVID-19 deaths so far, data on hospital capacity and use and more detailed coronavirus hospitalization data available in some localities.</p>\n\n<p>The institute estimates the pandemic would peak nationally around mid-April and result in more than 80,000 deaths, a<a href=\"http://www.healthdata.org/research-article/forecasting-covid-19-impact-hospital-bed-days-icu-days-ventilator-days-and-deaths\"> summary of the study</a> said.</p>\n\n<p>The state-by-state projections were based on a statistical model &mdash; essentially a detailed formula that projects the future virus spread based on death rates and other data available to this point.</p>\n\n<p>And those projections moved a lot after the initial release.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">The update</div>\n\n<p>Four days after the original publication, on March 30, 2020, researchers added 1,730 nationwide deaths to the model and tweaked the methodology. They said the updates created more precise estimates</p>\n\n<p>The <a href=\"http://www.healthdata.org/covid/updates\">updated projections</a> changed the estimated peak for all but four states. Wisconsin moved the most, to 26 days earlier, but several others saw dramatic shifts as well. Maryland&rsquo;s estimated peak moved to 25 days later, Missouri to 21 days later and Idaho to 13 days sooner.</p>\n\n<p>Ali Mokdad, a senior faculty member at the institute, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the original model &ndash; started around the beginning of March &ndash; assumed Wisconsin would have a Safer at Home-style order in place about two weeks sooner than it did. Gov. Tony Evers issued the order banning all but essential services and travel on March 24, 2020.</p>\n\n<p>The update factors in that actual date along with additional death data, which dramatically changed the model&rsquo;s analysis of the state.</p>\n\n<p>The new projected peak for Wisconsin, April 26, 2020, is still later than what state health officials are saying. Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm said March 30, 2020, the state expected the curve to begin flattening (i.e. peaking) in about 10 days.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;It&rsquo;ll be a couple of weeks before we start to really understand how well we are doing, social distancing, safer at home, to really judge ourselves against the worst case models,&quot; Palm said in a <a href=\"https://youtu.be/lsLuv8_5nJs?t=2411\">media briefing </a>with&nbsp;Evers and other officials. &quot;We really do believe it&rsquo;s another 10-plus days before we are going to be able to see evidence of a flattening off of the new daily cases.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>The viral story from Madison365.com quickly updated to reflect the new numbers, so Facebook posts of that story shared before or after that update now show a headline that accurately references the new April 26 peak.</p>\n\n<p>Instead of being the latest peak in the country, Wisconsin is now right in the middle of the pack &ndash; tied for 20th-latest with three other states. The peak is two weeks after the projected national peak of April 15, 2020.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Our ruling</div>\n\n<p>Facebook posts now circulating say Wisconsin will hit the peak for coronavirus cases on April 26.</p>\n\n<p>That gives us an unusual fact check, since at the time most of those stories were shared, the post referenced a May 22 date that is no longer the best estimate from this study. But Facebook&rsquo;s design updates a linked story when the story is updated.</p>\n\n<p>We aren&rsquo;t getting into whether this is an accurate model, since it&rsquo;s a prediction of the future and there&rsquo;s no way to say for sure. But we can examine the accuracy of the Facebook post itself.</p>\n\n<p>What is currently online in this viral post is an accurate reflection of the study, albeit one that requires a bit of extra context to understand the genesis of the current figures.</p>\n\n<p>We rate this Mostly True.</p>\n\n<div class=\"artembed\">See Figure 1 on PolitiFact.com</div>",
            "sources": "<p>YouTube.com, DHSWI, <a href=\"https://youtu.be/lsLuv8_5nJs?t=2411\">COVID-19 Media Briefing - 3/30/2020</a>, March 30, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Madison365.com, <a href=\"https://madison365.com/coronavirus-to-peak-in-wisconsin-may-22-report-says/?fbclid=IwAR3IsVbgG_LMBl0qhR_YV6ueEC9iRUEJnvjIx9DtwfgLMOT2EX99k9n7CMw\">Coronavirus to peak in Wisconsin April 26, report says</a>, March 29, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, <a href=\"https://covid19.healthdata.org/projections\">COVID-19 Projections</a>, updated March 30, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, <a href=\"http://www.healthdata.org/research-article/forecasting-covid-19-impact-hospital-bed-days-icu-days-ventilator-days-and-deaths\">Forecasting COVID-19 impact on hospital bed-days, ICU-days, ventilator days and deaths by US state in the next 4 months</a> (summary), March 26, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, <a href=\"http://www.healthdata.org/sites/default/files/files/research_articles/2020/COVID-forecasting-03252020_4.pdf\">Forecasting COVID-19 impact on hospital bed-days, ICU-days, ventilator days and deaths by US state in the next 4 months</a> (full paper), March 26, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, <a href=\"http://www.healthdata.org/covid/updates\">COVID-19 estimation updates</a>, March 30, 2020</p>"
        }
    ]
}