Facts Matter: Middle school students not forced to take vaccine
By Bob Oswald
A recent post circulating on social media falsely claims the COVID-19 vaccine is being forced on children.
A video shows students at a middle school in Idaho going in and out of a tent as a narrator says, "You're about to see some disturbing footage."
The voice-over then claims "government agents escort children to their execution, to a little shed behind the school in secrecy. They pull these children out of class, they force them into getting the vaccine and they inject them in broad daylight."
This narrator is lying about what is happening. The clip shows a voluntary vaccine clinic set up near a school, hosted by the Panhandle Health District, a regional health department, for students who chose to receive the vaccine, according to The Associated Press. Children under age 18 were required to get their parent's permission.
The pop-up clinic was set up near the school to "reduce barriers individuals may have to receiving the vaccine" and "make it convenient for students and parents," Panhandle Health District spokeswoman Katherine Hoyer told the AP.
No vaccination was forced and the event was not conducted "in secrecy."
"The health department announced these clinics publicly weeks in advance, and we shared the signup links and parental permission form with middle and high school parents," the school district's communications director Scott Maben told the AP. "A few weeks prior to this I invited local media to attend the first vaccination clinic at a high school."
Biden wrong about rising cost of cars
During a July 21 Cincinnati town hall broadcast on CNN, President Joe Biden was asked about rising prices and the cost of cars.
"First of all, the good news is the economy is picking up significantly," Biden said. "It's rational, when you think about it. The cost of an automobile is kind of back to what it was before the pandemic."
But that's not correct based on any metrics, according to PolitiFact.com.
Car production has been hampered by a shortage of microchips, pushing buyers into the used-car market as prices for all vehicles increased. Pre-pandemic costs remained basically unchanged for years. But in July 2020 prices began to rise and a year later costs are 21% higher. The majority of the increase was for used cars, which rose 43.3% while the cost of a new car was up 5.3%.
"In June, for the first time in a decade, vehicle buyers were essentially paying sticker price -- the manufacturer's suggested retail price -- for new vehicles," Cox Automotive analyst Kayla Reynolds told PolitiFact. Cox Automotive owns Kelley Blue Book, a vehicle valuation and automotive research company.
Edmunds, which publishes a guide for car shoppers, reported last month that older autos with more than 100,000 miles were selling for record-high prices in June.
Trump keeps up false claim about database
A false claim that the entire database from the November 2020 election in Arizona's Maricopa County was deleted was debunked in May.
That didn't stop former President Donald Trump from repeating that fake news last week.
"Unbelievably, the auditors have testified that the master database for the election management system, I'm sorry to tell you, has been deleted ... Meaning the main database for all of the election-related data in Maricopa for 2020 has been illegally erased. It's been erased," Trump said during a July 24 Turning Point Action event in Phoenix.
This statement is "wholly false," The Associated Press reported. The database was never deleted.
In April, Arizona Republican state senators hired technology company Cyber Ninjas to conduct a review of votes in Maricopa County. Shortly after that began, auditors said on Twitter that the database directory was deleted, resulting in a "spoliation of evidence." That was later deleted.
The Maricopa County board of supervisors said the information was there and board chairman Jack Sellers said the inspectors "can't find the files because they don't know what they're doing."
The next day, Ben Cotton, founder of a forensics firm working with the group, said he had the files and "I have the information I need."
House speaker not in charge of National Guard
The House of Representatives last week began an investigation into the insurrection that occurred Jan. 6 at the Capitol building.
Before the hearings began, some Republicans leaders sought to blame the riot on speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
"Was there a decision by the speaker not to have the National Guard at the Capitol that day?" House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said during an interview on Fox News.
Pelosi didn't stop the National Guard from responding and has no control over that military group, according to Snopes.com.
"The speaker of the House does not oversee security of the U.S. Capitol, nor does this official oversee the Capitol Police Board," Jane L. Campbell, president and CEO of the U.S. Capitol Historical Society, said during an interview on CNN.
Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser's request for the National Guard during the riot was denied by the Pentagon, not a request by Pelosi, Snopes reported.
• Bob Oswald is a veteran Chicago-area journalist and former news editor of the Elgin Courier-News. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.