The novel coronavirus is no laughing matter. Over the past year, it has killed more than 500,000 Americans, shuttered schools and workplaces, caused an economic recession, and strained the health care system. 

Throughout the pandemic, disinformation about the virus and the disease it causes, COVID-19, has been shared worldwide. Since the novel coronavirus first emerged in late 2019, PolitiFact has fact-checked 800 claims about the pandemic — more than 60% of which are False or Pants on Fire! Those claims include political spin aimed at downplaying the severity of the pandemic, disinformation about the safety and efficacy of vaccines, and social media rumors about how to prevent or treat COVID-19.

Coronavirus misinformation is a serious problem, and it can directly affect people’s lives and health. But a

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