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Viral media reports on Nov. 9
Oh, how we were ready to toast the claim behind the headlines that cheered drinking champagne could help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
Visions of bottomless mimosa brunches were dashed, though, when we discovered the buzz was from a 2013 study — on rats.
The scientists at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom tested a small sample of rodents and found those who’d tippled the bubbly were better at remembering how to navigate a maze for a treat than the teetotalers.
That hardly translates into a miracle drink to counteract age-related memory loss in humans.
We died a little inside, but we had to spin the Truth-O-Meter to False.
Ben Carson on Sept. 16 in the second GOP debate
Jim Carrey in a Twitter post on June 30
The measles vaccine has killed 108 people in the last decade, while no one has died of measles.
NaturalNews.com in an article making the rounds on social media on Feb. 5
The measles outbreak early in 2015 made it clear the Internet may be ideal for cat videos but it’s not the place to go for reasoned medical information.
Twice, PolitiFact Georgia found claims online that ignored available scientific evidence regarding the dangers of vaccines. By fall, one of the doctors running for a presidential nomination made a related inaccurate claim.
The falsehoods began with a seemingly well-sourced headline in a NaturalNews.com story, “Measles vaccines kill more people than measles, CDC data proves.”
The story goes on to say that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported no deaths from the virus in a decade, while “at least 108 deaths” have been linked to measles vaccines, according to the government’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, or VAERS.
A search of VAERS data revealed 105 deaths following one of the four measles vaccines. The catch is these are simply deaths reported following a vaccine, not found to be caused by the shot.
Those are very different things to count. And by year-end, federal officials reported the first measles death in the country in 12 years. There have still been no reported deaths caused by the vaccine.
Actor Jim Carrey ramped up the rhetoric after California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a new law requiring all public school children receive vaccinations.
“California Gov says yes to poisoning more children with mercury and aluminum in manditory [sic] vaccines,” Carrey posted on Twitter.
The myth that “mercury” causes autism ranks up with the flat Earth as among the most debunked scientific theories in history.
Aluminum, meanwhile, could be toxic in dosages and scenarios that are very rare. Water, for instance, is toxic in much the same way.
There is no scientific evidence suggesting any problems with the element, used to help boost the effectiveness of vaccines. The claim simply has no basis in fact.
This fall, GOP presidential hopeful Ben Carson backed up PolitiFact on the lack of a correlation between vaccines and autism.
But in the second Republican debate, the retired surgeon also said there are a “multitude” of vaccines that might not be necessary.
“Vaccines are very important. Certain ones,” Carson said. “The ones that would prevent death or crippling. There are others, there are a multitude of vaccines which probably don’t fit in that category, and there should be some discretion in those cases.”
We reviewed the 15 diseases protected by vaccines on the childhood schedule supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics and our neighbors at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: chicken pox, diphtheria, Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib), hepatitis A, hepatitis B, Human papillomavirus (HPV), influenza (flu), measles, mumps, pneumococcal disease, polio, rotavirus, rubella, tetanus and whooping cough.
All of these are universally lethal, except rubella. That one is simply disfiguring — or “crippling” in the words of the medical doctor.
The claims varied, but the science is clear. All the statements are False.