Flora Teoh

Science Editor

Flora obtained a PhD in Biological Sciences from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. During her doctoral studies, she examined how a human-colonising microbe could evolve in response to changes within a mammalian host, and how this process could influence microbial virulence. After a brief stint as a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, she joined Health Feedback in 2018 as science editor.

The Science Feedback team

ARTICLE REVIEWS

Misleading Wall Street Journal opinion piece makes the unsubstantiated claim that the U.S. will have herd immunity by April 2021

in Wall Street Journal, by Marty Makary

— 26 Feb 2021

"The article’s claim that the U.S. is near herd immunity rests on two numbers: 1) the detection of infections by testing (claimed to be 10 – 25 percent) and 2) the infection fa..

New York Post article makes speculative, unsupported claim that mutation could enable the virus causing COVID-19 to evade handwashing and mask-wearing

in New York Post, by Jackie Salo

— 08 Oct 2020

"The preprint that the article focuses on actually says nothing about the most egregious claim made in the article: that the virus is evolving to get around hand-washing, masks, et..

Telegraph article describing the hypothesis that face masks can variolate a population receives mixed reviews on its scientific accuracy

in The Telegraph, by Georgina Hayes

— 24 Sep 2020

"The Telegraph headline is obviously misleading but the subheading is accurate. Masks don’t give immunity; rather, the argument is that infections are milder or asymptomatic and ..

Potential role for T cells in COVID-19 immunity accurately reported in National Geographic article

in National Geographic, by Carrie Arnold

— 19 Aug 2020

"The article accurately discusses the recent findings about the presence/relevance of T cell response against COVID-19. Indeed, both arms of adaptive immunity, humoral and cellular..

People who do not show symptoms can contribute to significant COVID-19 transmission, contrary to CNBC report

in CNBC, by William Feuer, Noah Higgins-Dunn

— 10 Jun 2020

there is already “abundant data” showing that people who are not showing symptoms—which could include asymptomatic, presymptomatic, and paucisymptomatic individuals—compris...

COVID-19 vaccine candidate by Pittsburgh scientists show promising results in animal studies, but clinical trials still needed before efficacy in humans is known

in Pittsburgh Magazine, by Garret Roberts

— 11 Apr 2020

Scientists who reviewed this article’s scientific credibility found that the reporting was generally accurate. However, they also highlighted a missed opportunity to provide read...

Viral New York Post article perpetuates the unfounded claim that the virus that causes COVID-19 is manmade

in New York Post, by Steven W. Mosher

— 02 Mar 2020

Overall, Mosher’s argument is based on unfounded speculation and scientific inaccuracies. Such claims, which continue to be perpetuated even by public officials, have real-world ...

New York Times accurately reports vaccine-derived polio outbreaks caused by low vaccine coverage

in New York Times, by Associated Press

— 02 Dec 2019

"The content of the article is correct: attenuated polio strain type 2 contained in the oral vaccine can – in very rare cases – mutate and cause disease in under-immunized pers..

Daily Mail article misleads with clickbait headline claiming cowpox-derived virus will “kill every type of cancer”

in Daily Mail, by Zoe Zaczek

— 20 Nov 2019

"This article substantially overhypes early pre-clinical work with a viral therapy that has not yet been tested in even the earliest stages of human clinical trials. The headline i..

Washington Post article provides accurate and insightful report on recent spate of vaping-related illnesses

in Washington Post, by Lena H. Sun and Lindsey Bever

— 13 Sep 2019

"At the moment, it is not possible to know if these pulmonary diseases are related to propylene glycol, glycerol, nicotine, flavorings, or more likely, synthetic/natural drugs some..

CLAIM REVIEWS

EUA withdrawal for CDC COVID-19 PCR test is due to the development of newer tests that help save time and resources, not because the test is faulty

CLAIM
COVID-19 PCR test is inaccurate, will no longer be used; COVID-19 PCR test cannot differentiate between flu and COVID-19

SOURCE: Social media users, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

Published: 26 Jul 2021

VERDICT

VAERS reports may initiate investigations into potential associations between a vaccine and adverse events, but on their own cannot prove causality

CLAIM
Post-vaccination deaths reported to VAERS are caused by the vaccine

SOURCE: Steve Deace, Ron Paul, Charlie Kirk, TrialSite News

Published: 23 Jul 2021

VERDICT

Vaccinated people are less likely to be hospitalized due to the Delta variant compared to unvaccinated people, contrary to chiropractor’s claim

CLAIM
A Harvard study showed that vaccinated people are “twice as likely to get hospitalized as opposed to if they had a natural exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, then got exposed to a Delta variant”

SOURCE: Jen DePice, TLC4Superteams

Published: 21 Jul 2021

VERDICT

Retracted study misused statistics and adverse event reports to claim that COVID-19 vaccines don’t offer “clear benefit” and caused deaths

CLAIM
“For three deaths prevented by vaccination we have to accept two inflicted by vaccination.”

SOURCE: Harald Walach, Rainer Klement, Wouter Aukema, MDPI

Published: 07 Jul 2021

VERDICT

COVID-19 vaccines don’t affect ovaries or fertility in general; the vaccines are highly effective at preventing illness and death

CLAIM
"the ovaries get the highest concentration of [lipid nanoparticles from RNA vaccines]. This turns the ovaries into a very large manufacturing plant to turn out toxic spike protein"

SOURCE: Steve Kirsch, TrialSite News

Published: 24 Jun 2021

VERDICT

COVID-19 itself can cause heart inflammation, in addition to other problems like long COVID; benefits of COVID-19 vaccines outweigh their risks

CLAIM
More than half of myocarditis cases caused by COVID-19 vaccines occur in those aged between 12 and 34, yet this age group has a COVID-19 recovery rate of 99.99%

SOURCE: Kelly Victory, Twitter

Published: 17 Jun 2021

VERDICT

Fauci’s emails don’t support viral claims on masks, hydroxychloroquine and virus engineering

CLAIM
Fauci’s emails prove he knew that masks don’t work against the spread of COVID-19, that hydroxychloroquine is effective against COVID-19, and that the virus is likely engineered, and he lied about these things to the public

SOURCE: Social media users, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter

Published: 10 Jun 2021

VERDICT

Vaccines are a safer alternative for acquiring immunity compared to natural infection and COVID-19 survivors benefit from getting vaccinated, contrary to claims by Peter McCullough

CLAIM
COVID-19 vaccines caused over 4,000 deaths; COVID-19 survivors can’t get the virus and don’t need to be vaccinated; natural immunity trumps vaccine immunity; spike protein from the vaccines is dangerous

SOURCE: Peter McCullough, Fleccas Talks

Published: 04 Jun 2021

VERDICT

PCR tests on vaccinated and unvaccinated people are evaluated using the same criteria; the CDC didn’t change criteria for detecting infection in vaccinated people, as alleged in OffGuardian article

CLAIM
The U.S. CDC is “lowering their CT value when testing samples from suspected ‘breakthrough infections’” to decrease the number of officially recorded cases

SOURCE: Kit Knightly, OffGuardian, Zero Hedge, Gateway Pundit

Published: 27 May 2021

VERDICT

COVID-19 vaccines were tested in animals and clinical trials before receiving authorization; vaccinated people aren’t dying at a higher rate than unvaccinated people

CLAIM
COVID-19 vaccines skipped animal testing; COVID-19 vaccines weren’t tested in humans before being released to the public; COVID-19 vaccines are unsafe

SOURCE: Angelina Farella, Bob Hall, YouTube, Facebook

Published: 18 May 2021

VERDICT

INSIGHTS

Copypasta of an ICU doctor’s tweet stokes COVID-19 skepticism by mimicking bot-like behavior

— 29 Jul 2021

Introduction The spread of the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 has put many countries back on high alert. Both the U.S. and the U.K. have seen the Delta variant become the predominant ...

Understanding causality in adverse events after vaccination

— 15 Jul 2021

Introduction Whether you’re watching the news or scrolling through your social media feeds, you’re certain to come across content about COVID-19 vaccines. This is unsurprising...

“Plandemic: Indoctornation” video rehashes debunked claims and conspiracy theories about the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccines

— 20 Aug 2020

Plandemic is a pseudo-documentary produced by American filmmaker Mikki Willis, whose first instalment was published in May 2020. Featuring an interview with anti-vaccination activi...

Computing Forever interview with Dolores Cahill contains numerous inaccuracies about COVID-19 and vaccines

— 22 May 2020

This video, first published on 11 May 2020, features an interview between Dave Cullen, also known as Computing Forever on YouTube, and Dolores Cahill, a professor at University Col...

“Plandemic” vignette featuring anti-vaccination activist Judy Mikovits contains numerous false and unsupported claims about COVID-19

— 08 May 2020

This video is the first in a series of vignettes preceding a movie titled “Plandemic”. First published on 5 May 2020, it quickly went viral on Facebook, with more than 2.2 mill...

Did the COVID-19 virus originate from a lab or nature? Examining the evidence for different hypotheses of the novel coronavirus’ origins

— 24 Apr 2020

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in December 2019, many hypotheses have been advanced to explain where the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) actually came from. Initial re...

Do radio waves from mobile devices cause cancer? A look at the evidence

— 08 Apr 2019

Mobile phones have become an integral part of our lives, and most people would not consider even leaving the house without one. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) has est...

How we know vaccines don’t cause autism – and why this belief persists

— 26 Mar 2019

The claim that “vaccines cause autism” first received its scientific backing by Andrew Wakefield’s now-retracted study in The Lancet, published in 1998. The study...

The Most Popular Health Articles of 2018, a Scientific Credibility Review

— 28 Jan 2019

News about health and medicine touch the lives of many people, therefore they often become highly circulated on the Internet. Many of these articles achieve viral status, but how m...