Viral Posts Distort WHO Guidance on COVID-19 Tests

Quick Take

Dubious websites and viral posts falsely claim that the World Health Organization changed COVID-19 testing protocols for political reasons following Joe Biden’s inauguration and admitted that false-positive cases had been inflating the case count. The WHO’s guidance merely reminded labs to follow instructions provided by each test’s manufacturer.

Full Story

A recent memo from the World Health Organization designed for lab professionals became a major focus of misinformation — with unreliable websites and social media users claiming the agency had changed a testing protocol and admitted that COVID-19 cases have been wildly inflated.

But neither of those claims is accurate.

Instead, the Jan. 20 memo directed labs facilitating polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, tests to carefully follow manufacturer instructions for testing to prevent false positive and negative results.

The distortions online also tied the purported change to U.S. politics.

“An Hour After Joe Biden Is Sworn In, WHO Admits Their Testing Grossly Overstates Individuals Testing Positive for COVID,” read a from the Gateway Pundit, a website known for spreading misinformation. The story

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