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

Washington Times article by Robert Malone and Peter Navarro relies on inaccurate and unsubstantiated claims about virus evolution, vaccine immunity, and COVID-19 vaccine safety

in Washington Times, by Robert Malone and Peter Navarro

— 15 Aug 2021

"This article has inaccuracies throughout with a clear view to push an anti-vaccine agenda. The picture depicting a skull with eyes and nose made of coronaviruses in the shape of t..

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..

CLAIM REVIEWS

Tweet by NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene misinterpreted; no evidence that XBB.1.5 preferentially infects vaccinated people

CLAIM
“Omicron subvariant XBB.1.5 possibly more likely to infect those who are vaccinated, officials say”

SOURCE: Julia Musto, Fox News

Published: 17 Jan 2023

VERDICT

Evidence shows that COVID-19 vaccines don’t increase the risk of death, contrary to claim by financier Edward Dowd

CLAIM
COVID-19 vaccines are causing excess deaths around the world; sudden adult death syndrome is new

SOURCE: Edward Dowd, Aubrey Marcus, Aubrey Marcus Podcast

Published: 11 Jan 2023

VERDICT

Video by John Campbell comparing historical and COVID-19 vaccines misleads on vaccine safety

CLAIM
A study showed that the number of serious adverse vaccine events associated with COVID-19 vaccines is “too high”

SOURCE: John Campbell, YouTube

Published: 06 Jan 2023

VERDICT

Study led by FDA researchers didn’t find that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine caused blood clots, contrary to viral claims on social media

CLAIM
“Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine Linked to Blood Clotting: FDA”

SOURCE: Zachary Stieber, The Epoch Times

Published: 23 Dec 2022

VERDICT

No, a German “autopsy report” didn’t show COVID-19 vaccines as “likely” cause of sudden deaths

CLAIM
“Major New Autopsy Report Reveals Those Who Died Suddenly Were Likely Killed by the Covid Vaccine”

SOURCE: Will Jones, Daily Sceptic

Published: 20 Dec 2022

VERDICT

Mask-wearing helps to reduce the spread of COVID-19; social media posts misinterpreted Annals of Internal Medicine study on N95 respirators

CLAIM
“‘Gold Standard’ Scientific Trial Deals Massive Blow to N95 and Surgical Masks as Way to ‘Stop Covid’”

SOURCE: Kyle Becker, Becker News

Published: 06 Dec 2022

VERDICT

People can sue manufacturers for injury following routine childhood vaccines, contrary to a claim by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

CLAIM
“As long as you take an Emergency Use [vaccine], you can’t sue them. Once they get approved, now you can sue them—unless they can get it recommended for children”

SOURCE: Robert F. Kennedy Jr., The Mikhaila Peterson Podcast

Published: 24 Nov 2022

VERDICT

Multiple studies showed that COVID-19 increases the risk of heart inflammation more than vaccines do; study in Israel misleadingly used to claim otherwise

CLAIM
Israeli study showed that COVID-19 doesn’t increase the risk of heart inflammation

SOURCE: Marina Medvin, Twitter

Published: 16 Nov 2022

VERDICT

Scientific evidence shows that unvaccinated people are more likely to develop severe COVID-19 and die, contrary to claim in viral social media posts about Germany data

CLAIM
More than 88% of ICU patients in Germany are vaccinated; the COVID-19 vaccines no longer protect against severe disease

SOURCE: Olaf Garber, Twitter

Published: 13 Nov 2022

VERDICT

2014 study by Dyall et al. is an in vitro study; clinical trials showed hydroxychloroquine is ineffective against COVID-19 in people

CLAIM
Federal agencies already knew that hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine “were very likely to be effective against COVID-19” based on 2014 paper

SOURCE: Meryl Nass, The Epoch Times

Published: 07 Nov 2022

VERDICT

INSIGHTS

Germany-based network of websites and Facebook accounts amplify clickbait content to monetize web traffic via Google AdSense and e-commerce

— 08 Sep 2022

SUMMARY This investigation, which took place between May and August 2022, shows that a network of German- and English-language Facebook pages are using the platform to build an onl...

What do we know about the safety of titanium dioxide in menstrual hygiene products?

— 09 Aug 2022

Photo by Josefin on Unsplash Introduction Social media posts claiming that titanium dioxide in tampons are responsible for reproductive cancers began circulating in early August 20...

Shedding light on LinkedIn’s enforcement of health misinformation policies: A pilot study

— 26 Apr 2022

Summary of findings The career- and business-oriented social media platform LinkedIn has been absent from the public conversation around the topic of health misinformation, as comp...

Infection-induced immunity versus vaccine-induced immunity: Weighing the benefits and risks

— 03 Nov 2021

Introduction Multiple articles and social media posts have debated the strength of infection-induced immunity​​—commonly referred to as natural immunity—compared to vaccina...

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...