KHN & PolitiFact HealthCheck

Florida Sen. Rick Scott Off Base in Claim That Rise in Medicare Premiums Is Due to Inflation

An increase in Medicare Part B premiums means “America’s Seniors Are Paying the Price for Biden’s Inflation Crisis” — The headline of a press release from Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) Republicans blame President Joe Biden for this year’s historic surge in inflation, reflected in higher prices for almost everything — from cars and gas to …

Florida Sen. Rick Scott Off Base in Claim That Rise in Medicare Premiums Is Due to Inflation Read More »

¿Qué sabemos realmente sobre la eficacia de las vacunas contra covid?

La politización de las vacunas contra covid –y casi todo lo que tiene que ver con la pandemia– ha causado confusión, y fatiga total. Y algunas publicaciones que circulan en las redes sociales, por ejemplo, esta pieza hábilmente editada en YouTube, parecen aprovecharse de estos sentimientos, intentando sembrar dudas sobre la efectividad de las vacunas. …

¿Qué sabemos realmente sobre la eficacia de las vacunas contra covid? Read More »

What Do We Really Know About Vaccine Effectiveness?

The politicization of covid vaccines — and, well, just about everything else having to do with the pandemic — has led to confusion, if not utter fatigue. And some posts circulating on social media — this slickly edited piece on YouTube, for example — seem to build on these feelings, attempting to cast doubt on …

What Do We Really Know About Vaccine Effectiveness? Read More »

An Ad’s Charge That Price Haggling Would ‘Swipe $500 Billion From Medicare’ Is Incorrect

“These guys [insurance companies and Washington bureaucrats] are working together to swipe $500 billion from Medicare to pay for Pelosi and Schumer’s out-of-control spending spree.” Video advertisement from the 60 Plus American Association of Senior Citizens The advertisement opens with a doctor sitting across from his patient and holding a prescription drug pill bottle. “You …

An Ad’s Charge That Price Haggling Would ‘Swipe $500 Billion From Medicare’ Is Incorrect Read More »

Ask KHN-PolitiFact: Is My Cloth Mask Good Enough to Face the Delta Variant?

In recent months, some European airlines have banned the use of cloth face coverings to control the spread of the coronavirus during air travel, instead favoring surgical masks — sometimes referred to as medical or disposable — and N95 respirators. It’s another salvo in the debate over the effectiveness of the ubiquitous cloth mask, which …

Ask KHN-PolitiFact: Is My Cloth Mask Good Enough to Face the Delta Variant? Read More »

V-Safe: How Everyday People Help the CDC Track Covid Vaccine Safety With Their Phones

Of the 203 million people who have received at least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine, more than 9 million have enrolled in a program to share information about their health since getting the shot. The initiative was created for the covid-19 vaccines to complement the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s vaccine safety monitoring …

V-Safe: How Everyday People Help the CDC Track Covid Vaccine Safety With Their Phones Read More »

Science Shows Mask-Wearing Is Largely Safe for Children

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is one of a handful of Republican governors trying to block school districts from requiring masks in the classroom.  Under DeSantis’ direction, the state health department adopted a rule that lets families opt out of locally ordered school mask mandates. The State Board of Education approved another rule that allows parents to secure vouchers for their …

Science Shows Mask-Wearing Is Largely Safe for Children Read More »

DeSantis’ Executive Order Is Misleading About Lack of Scientific Support for Masking in Schools

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recent guidance on students and masking “lacks a well-grounded scientific justification.” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in a July 30 executive order On July 30, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order stating that schools couldn’t mandate that their students wear masks, and that it should be up …

DeSantis’ Executive Order Is Misleading About Lack of Scientific Support for Masking in Schools Read More »

Claims That CDC’s PCR Test Can’t Tell Covid From Flu Are Wrong

Claim: “CDC has just announced they will revoke the emergency use authorization of the RT-PCR tests first introduced in 2/20. … Translation: They’ve been adding flu cases to Covid cases when using that test.” Facebook post, July 25, 2021 Posts circulating on Facebook and Instagram claim the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will stop …

Claims That CDC’s PCR Test Can’t Tell Covid From Flu Are Wrong Read More »

Biden’s July Executive Order Includes Drug Pricing Provisions. But Will They Do Enough?

President Joe Biden’s executive order of July 9 included various steps toward making good on campaign promises to take on pharmaceutical companies by allowing the importation of prescription drugs and curbing the high cost of medicines. These issues were key to candidate Biden’s 2020 health care platform, which stated he would “stand up to abuse …

Biden’s July Executive Order Includes Drug Pricing Provisions. But Will They Do Enough? Read More »

Biden Kept His Promise to Increase Covid-Testing Capacity, Even as Demand for Testing Drops

Promise: “Double the number of drive-through testing sites, invest in next-generation testing, including at home tests and instant tests, so we can scale up our testing capacity by orders of magnitude.” Before vaccinations were widely available, covid-19 tests were considered one of the few tools to help control the spread of the coronavirus. That’s why …

Biden Kept His Promise to Increase Covid-Testing Capacity, Even as Demand for Testing Drops Read More »

Biden Boasts About Equitable Senior Vaccination Rate by Race Without Data to Back It Up

“There’s virtually no difference between white, Black, Hispanic, Asian American,” referring to vaccination rates among Americans 65 and up. President Joe Biden, May 3 During May 3 remarks on the American Families Plan, President Joe Biden boasted that there was not much disparity in the vaccination rates for white Americans and Americans of color who …

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Despite All the Talk, Covid Vaccination Does Not Infect People With Shingles

“For #Covid vaccines, shingles and even more dangerous and painful skin conditions may be the new thrombocytopenia” Alex Berenson in a Facebook post, April 19 Posts are showing up all over social media tying covid-19 vaccinations to shingles and other painful skin disorders. The source of one such post was Alex Berenson, an author and …

Despite All the Talk, Covid Vaccination Does Not Infect People With Shingles Read More »

A ‘Dose of Hope’? Fact-Checking President Joe Biden’s First Speech to Congress

In his first speech before Congress, President Joe Biden argued it was time to turn the coronavirus pandemic into a historic opportunity to expand government for the benefit of a wider range of Americans, urging investments in jobs, climate change, child care, infrastructure and more.  Biden said that taxes should be increased on corporations and …

A ‘Dose of Hope’? Fact-Checking President Joe Biden’s First Speech to Congress Read More »

In His Continued Sparring With Fauci, Sen. Rand Paul Oversimplified the Science

“Sorry Dr Fauci and other fearmongers, new study shows vaccines and naturally acquired immunity DO effectively neutralize COVID variants. Good news for everyone but bureaucrats and petty tyrants!” — Sen. Rand Paul in a tweet, March 21, 2021 That Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky often disagrees with infectious-disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci is well known. …

In His Continued Sparring With Fauci, Sen. Rand Paul Oversimplified the Science Read More »

Biden’s Criticism of Trump Team’s Vaccine Contracts Is a Stretch

“When I came into office, the prior administration had contracted for not nearly enough vaccine to cover adults in America. We rectified that.” — President Joe Biden, March 2 news conference During a March 2 news conference on the covid-19 pandemic, President Joe Biden claimed that former President Donald Trump’s administration did not ensure there …

Biden’s Criticism of Trump Team’s Vaccine Contracts Is a Stretch Read More »

Becerra Has Long Backed Single-Payer. That Doesn’t Mean It Will Happen if He’s HHS Secretary.

“Becerra supports Bernie’s government takeover of your health care, eliminating your employer-provided coverage.” — TV ad funded by Cotton for Senate, Feb. 22 This story was produced in partnership with PolitiFact. It can be republished for free. A digital ad running in Georgia and New Hampshire says Xavier Becerra, President Joe Biden’s nominee for Health and …

Becerra Has Long Backed Single-Payer. That Doesn’t Mean It Will Happen if He’s HHS Secretary. Read More »

DeSantis Advances Questionable Link Between Lockdowns and Despair

The result of lockdowns “has been the destruction of millions of lives across America as well as increased deaths from suicide, substance abuse and despair without any corresponding benefit in covid mortality.” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Feb. 2, 2020 For months, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has boasted about his state’s “open for business” strategy in …

DeSantis Advances Questionable Link Between Lockdowns and Despair Read More »

It’s Time to Get Back to Normal? Not According to Science.

The science says “open the schools, stop wearing masks outside, and everyone at low risk should start living normal lives.” — Blog post by conservative talk show host Buck Sexton posted on Facebook, Feb. 8. This story was produced in partnership with PolitiFact.  It can be republished for free. A popular Facebook and blog post by …

It’s Time to Get Back to Normal? Not According to Science. Read More »

Can Pfizer and Moderna End the Pandemic by Sharing Their Vaccine Designs? It’s Not that Simple

“Pfizer and Moderna could share their design with dozens of other pharma companies who stand ready to produce their vaccines and end the pandemic.” — Feb. 3 in a Facebook post This story was produced in partnership with PolitiFact. It can be republished for free. Vaccine makers Pfizer and Moderna earned praise for creating highly effective …

Can Pfizer and Moderna End the Pandemic by Sharing Their Vaccine Designs? It’s Not that Simple Read More »

S.D. Governor Gives State High Marks in Handling the Pandemic. Are They Deserved?

“We did have tragedies and we did have losses. But we also got through it better than virtually every other state.” South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem on “The Ingraham Angle,” Fox News, Feb. 2, 2021 Covid-19 has pushed states to adopt unique approaches to protect their residents, but few have garnered as much scrutiny as …

S.D. Governor Gives State High Marks in Handling the Pandemic. Are They Deserved? Read More »

Scalise’s Claim That Unauthorized Immigrants Are Getting Priority for Vaccination Misses the Point

“Now he [Biden] is saying that people who came here illegally can jump ahead of other Americans who have been waiting to get the vaccine.” Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) During a Feb. 2 interview on Fox News, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) claimed President Joe Biden was allowing unauthorized immigrants to move ahead of American citizens …

Scalise’s Claim That Unauthorized Immigrants Are Getting Priority for Vaccination Misses the Point Read More »

Health Issues Carried Weight on the Campaign Trail. What Could Biden Do in His First 100 Days?

Joe Biden ran on an expansive health care platform during his 2020 presidential campaign, with a broad array of promises such as adding a government-sponsored health plan to the Affordable Care Act and lowering prescription drug prices. Perhaps most significantly, he pledged to get control of the covid pandemic that claimed more than 400,000 American lives …

Health Issues Carried Weight on the Campaign Trail. What Could Biden Do in His First 100 Days? Read More »

Biden prometió 100 millones de vacunas de covid en 100 días. No será fácil de cumplir

Está en la naturaleza de los candidatos presidenciales y de los flamantes presidentes: prometer grandes cosas. Apenas unos meses antes de su juramentación en 1961, el presidente John F. Kennedy prometió que iba a enviar un hombre a la luna antes de que terminara la década. Esa promesa se cumplió, pero muchas otras no, como …

Biden prometió 100 millones de vacunas de covid en 100 días. No será fácil de cumplir Read More »

Biden’s Covid Challenge: 100 Million Vaccinations in the First 100 Days. It Won’t Be Easy.

This story also ran on PolitiFact. It can be republished for free. It’s in the nature of presidential candidates and new presidents to promise big things. Just months after his 1961 inauguration, President John F. Kennedy vowed to send a man to the moon by the end of the decade. That pledge was kept, but …

Biden’s Covid Challenge: 100 Million Vaccinations in the First 100 Days. It Won’t Be Easy. Read More »

Trump’s Wrong. 15% ‘Herd Immunity’ Is Not on Par With Strength of a Vaccine

The percentage of Americans with natural immunity from getting COVID-19 is “a very powerful vaccine in itself.” — President Donald Trump on Dec. 8 at a White House Operation Warp Speed vaccine summit This story was produced in partnership with PolitiFact. It can be republished for free. During a Dec. 8 press conference about Operation …

Trump’s Wrong. 15% ‘Herd Immunity’ Is Not on Par With Strength of a Vaccine Read More »

A $10,000 Obamacare Penalty? Doubtful.

“Because our family couldn’t afford health insurance, Obama/Biden penalized us about $10,000, then took that $10,000 and used it to pay for others’ free Obamacare. Trump ended that theft.” In a Facebook post, Oct. 20, 2020 A viral Facebook post claims that former President Barack Obama’s health insurance law penalized a family a large amount …

A $10,000 Obamacare Penalty? Doubtful. Read More »

Sen. Graham Complains That 3 Blue States Get a Third of ACA Funding

Sen. Lindsey Graham has never been a fan of the Affordable Care Act — even though it’s helped dramatically lower the number of uninsured people in his home state of South Carolina. The Republican, who heads the Senate Judiciary Committee, attacked the law at the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. Democrats …

Sen. Graham Complains That 3 Blue States Get a Third of ACA Funding Read More »

App-Based Companies Pushing Prop. 22 Say Drivers Will Get Health Benefits. Will They?

App-based driving services such as Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and Instacart are bankrolling California’s Proposition 22, which would keep their drivers classified as independent contractors, not employees. Leading into the Nov. 3 election, the ballot measure — which has become the most expensive in state history — is mired in controversy and the subject of a …

App-Based Companies Pushing Prop. 22 Say Drivers Will Get Health Benefits. Will They? Read More »

Arguing to Undo the ACA. Harming Medicare. Do They Go Hand in Hand?

It’s a tried-and-true campaign strategy. Candidates go on the attack, claiming their opponent will do harm to Medicare. After all, people 65 and older are good about making it to the polls on Election Day. These voters are also generally motivated to protect the federal health insurance program for seniors. It’s no surprise, then, that …

Arguing to Undo the ACA. Harming Medicare. Do They Go Hand in Hand? Read More »

Did Trump Confuse the Public Option With ‘Medicare for All’?

During the final presidential debate, President Donald Trump claimed that 180 million people would lose their private health insurance to socialized medicine if the Democratic presidential nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden, is elected president. “They have 180 million people, families under what he wants to do, which will basically be socialized medicine — you …

Did Trump Confuse the Public Option With ‘Medicare for All’? Read More »

In Tamer Debate, Trump and Biden Clash (Again) on President’s Pandemic Response

In the second and final debate of the 2020 presidential race, President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden sparred over Trump’s handling of the pandemic and Biden’s plan to reform health care. In stark contrast to the first debate, there was more policy talk. There was also less interrupting. Trump said a COVID-19 …

In Tamer Debate, Trump and Biden Clash (Again) on President’s Pandemic Response Read More »

Trump Says He Saved 2 Million Lives From COVID. Really?

President Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed to have saved 2 million lives from COVID-19 through his actions to combat the disease. Recently, he made the assertion during the NBC News town hall on Oct. 15 that replaced the second presidential debate. “But we were expected to lose, if you look at the original charts from …

Trump Says He Saved 2 Million Lives From COVID. Really? Read More »

Progressive Group Highlights Trump, Tillis Weakness on Insulin Price Tags

    During the first presidential debate of 2020, President Donald Trump touted his efforts to curb skyrocketing drug prices and declared that insulin is now “so cheap, it’s like water.” The response on social media was swift, and divided, with some people sharing pharmacy bills showing thousands of dollars they’d spent on insulin, while …

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No, the WHO Didn’t Change Its Lockdown Stance or ‘Admit’ Trump Was Right

On Monday, President Donald Trump claimed that the World Health Organization (WHO) “admitted” he was correct that using lockdowns to control the spread of COVID-19 was more damaging than the illness. In a post on Twitter, Trump wrote: “The World Health Organization just admitted that I was right. Lockdowns are killing countries all over the …

No, the WHO Didn’t Change Its Lockdown Stance or ‘Admit’ Trump Was Right Read More »

In Debate, Pence and Harris Offer Conflicting Views of Nation’s Reality

The Trump administration’s pandemic response: decisive action that saved lives, or the greatest failure of any presidential administration? During Wednesday’s vice presidential debate, Vice President Mike Pence and the Democratic challenger, Sen. Kamala Harris of California, offered drastically different takes — from behind  plexiglass screens — on how the president has handled the COVID-19 crisis. …

In Debate, Pence and Harris Offer Conflicting Views of Nation’s Reality Read More »

Biden’s in the Ballpark on How Many People Have Preexisting Conditions

The first minutes of Tuesday’s presidential debate immediately turned to how President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg could undo the Affordable Care Act and its protections for people with preexisting conditions. “There’s 100 million people that have preexisting conditions,” said former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee, arguing …

Biden’s in the Ballpark on How Many People Have Preexisting Conditions Read More »

Republican Convention, Day 4: Fireworks … and Shining a Light on Trump’s Claims

President Donald Trump accepted the Republican Party’s nomination for president in a 70-minute speech from the South Lawn of the White House on Thursday night. Speaking to a friendly crowd that didn’t appear to be observing social distancing conventions, and with few participants wearing masks, he touched on a range of topics, including many related …

Republican Convention, Day 4: Fireworks … and Shining a Light on Trump’s Claims Read More »

Pence Praises Trump’s ‘Seamless’ COVID Response, Leaves Out His State Feuds

Vice President Mike Pence portrayed his boss, President Donald Trump, as a leader who has reached out across the aisle to help during the coronavirus pandemic. “President Trump marshaled the full resources of the federal government and directed us to forge a seamless partnership with governors across America in both parties,” Pence said during his …

Pence Praises Trump’s ‘Seamless’ COVID Response, Leaves Out His State Feuds Read More »

Drug Overdose Deaths Showed a One-Year Decline in 2018. But There’s More to the Story.

    Detective Ryan Holets, whose personal story includes the adoption of an infant born to a drug-addicted mother, addressed the Republican National Convention on its second night. He praised President Donald Trump’s efforts in addressing drug and opioid abuse and noted “drug overdose deaths decreased in 2018 for the first time in 30 years.” …

Drug Overdose Deaths Showed a One-Year Decline in 2018. But There’s More to the Story. Read More »

Republican Convention, Day 2: Pomp, the Pandemic and Planned Parenthood

The Republican National Convention offered Americans a picture Tuesday night of a compassionate White House in action. But not a lot was said about the biggest health crisis in a century that has killed more than 170,000 people in this country. First lady Melania Trump wrapped up the evening with a speech from her redesigned …

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Trump Again Claims He’s Bringing Down Drug Prices, But Details of How Are Skimpy

President Donald Trump has long considered lowering the high cost of prescription drugs to be one of his signature issues, and it is likely to be a talking point he relies on throughout the upcoming campaign. During his afternoon speech Monday ― delivered on the first day of the Repubublican National Convention after delegates had …

Trump Again Claims He’s Bringing Down Drug Prices, But Details of How Are Skimpy Read More »

Republican Convention, Day 1: A Campaign-Style Trump Speech and More

Before the prime-time GOP showcase began, President Donald Trump took to the podium Monday afternoon and delivered an approximately one-hour campaign-style speech to delegates after he was officially renominated by the Republican Party as its candidate for president. His comments were wide-ranging, and our partners at PolitiFact found many to be either wrong, misleading, premature …

Republican Convention, Day 1: A Campaign-Style Trump Speech and More Read More »

Is Cuomo Directive to Blame for Nursing Home COVID Deaths, as US Official Claims?

On the first night of the Democratic National Convention, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was among the first in a weeklong parade of speakers to issue scathing critiques of the Trump administration’s coronavirus response. Cuomo’s criticisms drew a quick reply in a tweet from Michael Caputo, an assistant secretary for public affairs at the Department …

Is Cuomo Directive to Blame for Nursing Home COVID Deaths, as US Official Claims? Read More »

Democratic Convention, Night 4: ‘Facts Over Fiction’ in Biden’s Speech

In a near-empty arena on the river in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, former Vice President Joe Biden accepted the Democratic nomination for president, promising hope over fear, fairness over privilege, love over hate. And, he said, “Facts over fiction.” Let’s see about that. Our partners at PolitiFact examined a range of claims made by …

Democratic Convention, Night 4: ‘Facts Over Fiction’ in Biden’s Speech Read More »

DeSantis Says COVID Is a Lower Risk for School-Aged Kids Than Flu

Even as his state is a hotbed for COVID-19, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been pushing schools to reopen so parents have the choice of sending children back to the classroom or keeping them home to learn virtually. The Republican governor has said children without any underlying health conditions would benefit from in-person learning and …

DeSantis Says COVID Is a Lower Risk for School-Aged Kids Than Flu Read More »

Democratic Convention, Night 3: Making the Party Lines Clear

The third night of the Democratic National Convention was all about one thing: Sen. Kamala Harris of California becoming the first Black and Indian American woman to accept a major political party’s vice presidential nomination. But key Democratic criticisms — many rooted in health care issues and the COVID-19 pandemic — were repeated throughout the …

Democratic Convention, Night 3: Making the Party Lines Clear Read More »

Democratic Convention, Night 2: Defending the ACA and Attacking Trump on Pandemic

The second night of the 2020 Democratic National Convention featured a 17-person keynote speech, past presidents, a roll call vote that doubled as a virtual tour of the United States and an emphasis on health care and national security issues. Ady Barkan, a health care activist paralyzed by ALS, appeared in a video — speaking …

Democratic Convention, Night 2: Defending the ACA and Attacking Trump on Pandemic Read More »

Democratic Convention, Night 1: Hitting Trump Team on Pandemic Preparedness

On the first night of the Democrats’ 2020 national convention, one thing was clear. This time would be different. No crowds, buttons, placards or party swag. The coronavirus pandemic was an ever-present theme. Still, there was a virtual National Anthem and everyday people offering their thoughts on the upcoming election and the state of the …

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GOP Senate Ad Misrepresents Mont. Governor’s Stance on Rural Hospitals, Public Option

An attack ad, which was released in mid-July, states that Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democratic candidate for the Senate, supports a government-run health care program that would wreak havoc on the state’s health care infrastructure. “Bullock’s health care plan will force rural hospitals to close. Medicare as we know it will change, replaced by …

GOP Senate Ad Misrepresents Mont. Governor’s Stance on Rural Hospitals, Public Option Read More »

Could Labs That Test Livestock Ease COVID Testing Backlog for People? Well … Maybe.

In a heated exchange late last month on CNN’s State of the Union, host Jake Tapper pressed Adm. Brett Giroir, the Health and Human Services assistant secretary who oversees COVID testing efforts for the Trump administration, on why the government isn’t requiring commercial labs to increase testing capacity in order to speed turnaround time. Giroir’s …

Could Labs That Test Livestock Ease COVID Testing Backlog for People? Well … Maybe. Read More »

Don’t Fall for This Video: Hydroxychloroquine Is Not a COVID-19 Cure

Millions of people, including the president of the United States, have seen or shared a video in which a doctor falsely claims there is a cure for the coronavirus, and it’s a medley starring hydroxychloroquine. The video shows several doctors in white coats giving a press conference outside the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. It persists on social media despite …

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Biden Is Right. Pay for Home Health Workers Is Paltry.

In a speech this month, former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, offered the third installment of a four-part economic plan being rolled out in advance of the Democratic National Convention in August. This set of proposals focused on caregivers — whether for children, older adults or people with disabilities — and is …

Biden Is Right. Pay for Home Health Workers Is Paltry. Read More »