FRANCE

Claim: Emmanuel Macron is preventing the arrival in Europe of Africans that are not vaccinated

Facts: Some claims about the French president, Emmanuel Macron, have been shared thousands of times on social media. The message is a quote attributed to Emmanuel Macron saying: “All African countries that will not allow its population to use the European vaccine against the Covid-19, its population won’t travel to Europe anymore.”

Truth: Several media such as Centrafrique, TV5 Monde and Le Monde proved that the French president never said that. This claim is unfounded. Moreover, Emmanuel Macron has no right to define who is free or not to enter the European territory since it is a decision that has to be taken by the ensemble of the member state. Accordingly, the French President never said that Africans that won’t be vaccinated will be refused their entry in Europe.

NIGERIA/ITALY

Claim: The Italy’s Ministry of Health has declared that Italian doctors found that Covid-19 is not a virus but a bacteria

Facts: As AFP Fact Check reports, a video was shared more than 1,000 times in Nigeria on WhatsApp claiming the Italy's Ministry of Health stated that: “Italian doctors disobeyed the world health law WHO, not to do autopsies on the dead of the Coronavirus and they found that it is NOT a VIRUS but a BACTERIA that causes death.”

Truth: As AFP Fact Check reports, the video is a “text-to-speech dictation from the false post with still and moving images.” Indeed, the AFP Fact Check discovered the same images on Facebook.

Moreover, a spokeswoman for the Italian health ministry told AFP Fact Check that the video “is a hoax.” On a medical and scientific point of view, leading health authorities including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control have rejected rumors that antibiotics can be used to cure from the disease because it is not caused by bacteria.

WORLD

Claim: The former US president Barack Obama cried at an anti-racism conference and spoke after the fatal US arrest of George Floyd

Facts: A video of the former US president Barack Obama was shared worldwide on social media this week claiming he cried during a remembrance speech following George Floyd’s death.

The footage starts with Obama pausing in his speech before breaking down in tears to follow by saying: “Every time I think about those kids, it gets me mad. And by the way, it happens on the streets of Chicago every day.”

Another footage follows this one with the former US President declaring: “We cannot turn away and simply dismiss those in peaceful protest as troublemakers or paranoid”.

Truth: The video is a montage mixing two previous speeches made by the 44th US president. The first footage comes from a speech at the White House in 2016 about gun violence in the US and the unveiling of new gun control measures, as AFP Fact Check reports. During this talk, Obama cried as he recalled the 20 first graders children killed in the attack at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.

In this speech, the former US president, never talked about racism.

The second footage is also taken out of its context since it comes from a speech Obama made on July 12, 2016 during a memorial service for the Dallas police officers killed during a protest against police shootings of black men, as AFP Fact Check reports. In this case, Obama did talk about racism and protests but he also called for reconciliation.

Barack Obama never cried publicly following George Floyd’s death but he shared a statement about the tragic event on Twitter.

UNITED STATES

Claim : Trump’s parents were photographed wearing KKK robes

Facts: A photograph has been shared on social media showing Donald Trump and his parents wearing Ku Klux Klan robes.

Comments under the picture such as “f*** Donald Trump and his parents,” “I’m not surprised at all” and “May they rest in hell” were written, as Reuters reports.

Truth: This picture has been doctored. As Reuters reports, the original picture comes from Shutterstock with the caption “Donald Trump with His Parents Mary and Fred Trump 1994.” The parents are seen wearing normal clothes, the mother in a floral top and the father in a navy-blue three-piece suit. Trump’s parents have never been photographed in KKK’s robes.

BRAZIL/ARGENTINA

Claim: Government to control food distribution in Argentina

Fact: According to an image that has been circulating on social media in Brazil in recent days, a “food expropriation law” has been approved in Argentina, which allows the country's government to control the distribution of food to the population.

“Bolsonaro warned! Argentines get fuck**. The communist government took advantage of the pandemic, struck a coup and implemented a law on food expropriation. Now, Argentines will only eat government-controlled food. Whoever skips the line or complains will go to prison or die. Wake up Brazil. Communists are at our door,” says the image.

Truth: According to the fact checking agencies Lupa and Aos Fatos, the information disclosed is false. There is no law passed or under discussion in the country that gives the government control over food. The rumor seems to have arisen after President Alberto Fernandéz sent to the Congress, on last June 8, a bill to nationalize the Vicentin Group, one of the largest agricultural companies in the country and undergoing bankruptcy.

None of the 11 articles in the project, however, foresees the production of “controlled food” by the government. The text also does not mention any possibility of expropriation of other companies. The government justifies the action as necessary to preserve jobs and protect producers. The measure is supported by the Expropriation Law, from 1977, during the military dictatorship in Argentina.

BRAZIL

Claim: SP governor signed a contract with Chinese company in 2019 to develop vaccine against coronavirus

Fact: Messages circulate on social media that the governor of São Paulo, João Doria, said during a press conference that in August 2019 was signed an agreement with a Chinese company to manufacture a vaccine against coronavirus.

The rumor was also shared on Twitter by former congressman Roberto Jefferson, an ally of President Jair Bolsonaro and critic of Doria.

Truth: At a press conference last Thursday (11 June), Doria said that the partnership between the Butantan Institute and the pharmaceutical company Sinovac “started in August last year when we visited China and opened the São Paulo commercial office in Shanghai.” The governor, therefore, did not say that the contract was signed on this date, but rather that it marks the opening in Shanghai of an office of the São Paulo Agency for the Promotion of Investments and Competitiveness (InvestSP). The vaccine created by Sinovac against Covid-19 was approved for testing in humans just on April 14.

The contract with the Butantan Institute to produce and test immunization in Brazil was signed on June 10.

ECUADOR

Claim: A "new nipah virus" more deadly than covid-19 has appeared in India

Fact: On social media, several publications have warned of the emergence of a new virus more deadly than the coronavirus SARS-Cov-2, known as "Nipah virus (NIV).” According to a post that has been shared more than 2,500 times on Facebook, “in the past few weeks, 18 new cases of Nipah have been reported in India in the Kerala area (southwest of the country), which killed 17 people.”

Truth: According to information provided by the World Health Organization (WHO), the 18 cases of contagion by the Nipah virus were registered in May 2018.

In a publication in August of the same year, WHO said there were no new cases of contagion due to this virus. "No new cases or deaths have been reported since June 1, 2018, and as of July 30, the transmission of NiV from person to person was contained in the state of Kerala," the organization said at the time. Since then, no more cases of Nipah virus have been reported in India. According to the WHO, the Nipah virus was first detected in 1999 in Malaysia.

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