NOT REAL NEWS: A look at what didn’t happen this week

A roundup of some of the most popular but completely untrue stories and visuals of the week. None of these are legit, even though they were shared widely on social media. The Associated Press checked them out. Here are the facts:


There is no connection between rising COVID cases and elections, contrary to claims online

CLAIM: COVID-19 only spikes during election seasons.

THE FACTS: There is no connection between rising COVID-19 cases and the electoral process, epidemiology experts say. Since the first U.S. case was confirmed in January 2020, the virus has spiked near the end of the year, but also during summer, nowhere near major elections. But some on social media are falsely claiming the virus is a tool to control election outcomes. “Some won’t figure out the Mysterious Connection between The Coronavirus & The Election!!!” reads a caption on one Instagram post. “It’s Called Election Interference by Mail In Ballots & the Machines. Wake-Up America.” But elections do not dictate when COVID-19 spikes. “There’s no biologically plausible or credible reason why spikes would be linked with election seasons,” Dr. Emily Smith, an epidemiologist and assistant professor of emergency medicine and surgery at Duke University, wrote in an

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