April 24, 2020

PolitiFact and MediaWise are teaming up to debunk misinformation about the coronavirus crisis. To have Coronavirus Facts delivered to your inbox Monday-Friday, click here.

Bill Gates is one of the leading voices on a timeline for a coronavirus vaccine. Some Facebook users say that’s because the billionaire philanthropist stands to profit from one.

An April 20 post includes several claims about Gates and his connection to the COVID-19 pandemic. The one that caught our eye says the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation “has the patent for this coronavirus.”

“Pay attention will ya,” reads the title of the image.

PolitiFact has fact-checked several false or misleading claims about the Gates Foundation’s connection to the coronavirus and a potential vaccine. The charity is a frequent target for online disinformation about the pandemic.

This Facebook post is also bogus. It’s similar to one of the earliest hoaxes we saw about the coronavirus in January, which originated on the conspiracy website Infowars.

Read the full fact-check.

TikTok video claims Russia released lions to curb COVID-19

A video on TikTok claims Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened jail time for those who don’t quarantine and released 800 lions and tigers to patrol the streets to address the coronavirus. Some of this is true. Check it out»

Are Democrats pushing microchips to fight coronavirus?

There’s no evidence that implanted microchips are being contemplated in a serious way to fight the coronavirus. Get the facts»

Here’s how to read and understand coronavirus charts and graphs

There’s so much COVID-19 data out there that it’s easy to get lost in all the charts and graphs people are publishing. Some visualizations are accurate, while others are bogus.  Here’s what to look out for»

Alex Mahadevan is a senior multimedia reporter at MediaWise. He can be reached at amahadevan@poynter.org or on Twitter at @AlexMahadevan. Follow MediaWise on TikTok.

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Alex Mahadevan is senior multimedia reporter with the MediaWise project. He most recently worked as a data journalist at the personal finance startup The Penny…
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