Facts are under assault in 2020.
We can't fight back misinformation about the election and COVID-19 without you. Support trusted, factual information with a tax deductible contribution to PolitiFact
I would like to contribute
If Your Time is short
- COVID-19 is an abbreviation of “coronavirus disease 2019.”
“CO” stands for “corona,” “VI” stands for “virus” and “D” stands for “disease.”
The number 19 reflects the year the disease was identified — 2019.
For months, misinformation about the novel coronavirus and vaccines has spread on social media — including about the meaning of the name assigned to the disease caused by the virus: COVID-19.
Back in March, we debunked a claim that it "literally stands for Chinese Originated Viral Infectious Disease."
Now, a new Facebook post claims that COVID-19 means: "Certificate of identification of vaccination with artificial intelligence."
This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
The post is wrong.
The 2019 novel coronavirus was first reported in Wuhan, China, on Dec. 31, 2019.
On Feb. 11, the World Health Organization announced that the name for the disease would be COVID-19 and the complete official name for the virus that causes the disease would be "severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2" or "SARS-CoV-2."
Until that point, the virus and the infection had been referred to as the "2019 novel coronavirus" or "2019-nCoV."
"Having a name matters to prevent the use of other names that can be inaccurate or stigmatizing," tweeted Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO.
COVID-19 is an abbreviation of "coronavirus disease 2019," the CDC says. "CO" stands for "corona," "VI" stands for "virus" and "D" stands for "disease."
The number 19 reflects the year it was identified — 2019.
We rate this Facebook post Pants on Fire.
Facebook post, Aug. 27, 2020
PolitiFact, COVID stands for coronavirus disease 2019, Sept. 2, 2020
World Health Organization, Naming the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the virus that causes it, visited March 30, 2020
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tweet, Feb. 11, 2020
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), visited March 30, 2020
Read About Our Process
In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.