Facts Matter: Biden underestimates numbers in GOP
President Joe Biden recently said the Republican Party was seeing fewer members in its ranks.
"I think it's appropriate to say that the Republican Party is vastly diminished in numbers," Biden said during a news conference earlier this month.
Although there have been some "fractures in the GOP leadership," the party's membership and support remain strong, according to The Associated Press.
A Gallup poll in May showed 29% of Americans identify as Republican while 33% of those surveyed said they were Democrats. Those numbers are basically the same as the results of a survey from a year ago.
Following the November election, Republicans narrowed Democrats' margin in the House by flipping 15 seats that had been held by Democrats and the Senate equally is divided at 50-50. There are 27 states run by Republican governors compared to 23 states led by Democrats.
Tickets to Trump inauguration are fake
Recent social media posts claim QAnon supporters are buying fake tickets to a second inauguration of former President Donald Trump, who was defeated in the November election.
The posts show an image of tickets to "The 2nd Inauguration of Donald Trump," with information the event will take place Aug. 15 in front of the Capitol building and will feature musicians and Trump supporters Ted Nugent and Kid Rock.
"This is just INSANE on a whole other level!" a Facebook user wrote. "These 'tickets' are being sold for as high as $1,200 each on Q sites all over the internet, the crazy part is that people are talking about how excited they are because they've already purchased them."
But the news about the fake tickets is fake, according to USA Today. There are no fake tickets being bought or sold online.
The image of the tickets has been digitally altered. The type about the event and the price of the ticket was added to blank tickets that can be found on stock photo websites.
The original post, with the doctored image of the tickets, appears to have started as a joke to mock those who believed Trump would be reinstated as president, according to Snopes.com. That post didn't include any information about buying or selling the tickets.
COVID variants not named for brain waves
Scientists continue to find mutations of the COVID-19 virus and the delta variant is identified as one that spreads more easily and is responsible for recent increases in infections in some parts of the country.
Some social media users claim the variants are named after brain wave frequencies and the connection has to do with a secret conspiracy to control people by using technology.
Although scientists have used the Greek alphabet to name both brain wave frequencies and variants of the COVID-19 virus, the two are unrelated, according to The Associated Press.
Social media posts falsely connected the recent delta variant to the virus's impact on children by saying delta brain waves are specific to children. But delta waves actually are associated with deep sleep, the AP reported.
"Sleep is critical for development so in a contorted way you could say kids have more delta waves," University of Oregon professor David McCormick told the AP.
The World Health Organization last month named the delta variant when the group announced it would change the labeling system for the virus mutations and begin using the Greek alphabet.
Previously the organization had identified the various strains by naming them after the location they were first discovered, such as the South Africa variant. The change came after the group said the labeling system was "stigmatizing and discriminatory."
The Greek alphabet often is used for labeling in math and science.
Women not banned from drinking alcohol
The World Health Organization recently released its proposed global alcohol consumption action plan highlighting some harmful effects of drinking, especially on women of childbearing age.
But some internet posts distorted the information.
"World Health Organization wants to BAN all women aged 18-50 from drinking alcohol," reads the headline on a June 17 story published by the Irish Post.
But the article is "a distortion of the report's purpose," according to PolitiFact.com. The WHO didn't call for a ban on women drinking alcohol, nor would it be in a position to enforce it.
The report wasn't only concerned with pregnant women.
"Appropriate attention should be given to prevention of the initiation of drinking among children and adolescents, prevention of drinking among pregnant women and women of childbearing age, and protection of people from pressures to drink, especially in societies with high levels of alcohol consumption where heavy drinkers are encouraged to drink even more," the report said.
• Bob Oswald is a veteran Chicago-area journalist and former news editor of the Elgin Courier-News. Contact him at email@example.com.