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

Prenatal ultrasound is generally safe when performed by trained personnel and used only when medically necessary; its benefits outweigh the risks

CLAIM
Prenatal ultrasound carries “extreme risks”, including miscarriage and genetic damage

SOURCE: Anni Haavisto, Detox and Replenish

Published: 21 Oct 2021

VERDICT

Study led by UCSF researchers didn’t study vaccinated people’s susceptibility to variants; it found vaccine breakthrough cases to be a minority of infections

CLAIM
“The California study finds that vaccinated individuals are more susceptible to COVID variant infections than unvaccinated”

SOURCE: Anonymous, The Conservative Treehouse

Published: 06 Oct 2021

VERDICT

No scientific evidence for claim by pathologist Ryan Cole that COVID-19 vaccines weaken the immune system

CLAIM
COVID-19 vaccines weaken the immune system; “Idaho doctor reports a ‘20 times increase’ of cancer in vaccinated patients”

SOURCE: Ryan Cole, LifeSiteNews, Capitol Clarity

Published: 27 Sep 2021

VERDICT

A person’s decision not to vaccinate affects others, as unvaccinated people are more likely to get infected and spread COVID-19

CLAIM
“the only person ‘hurting’ if I don’t get the vaccine is me. So mind your own business”

SOURCE: Brenna Spencer, Facebook, Twitter

Published: 06 Sep 2021

VERDICT

Study in Vietnam showed that Delta infection results in a higher viral load compared to earlier strains, not that vaccinated people are more infectious than unvaccinated people

CLAIM
“vaccinated individuals carry 251 times the load of COVID-19 viruses in their nostrils compared to the unvaccinated”

SOURCE: Peter McCullough, Children’s Health Defense

Published: 26 Aug 2021

VERDICT

Video shared by Sebastian Gorka Facebook page shows nurse making false and unsubstantiated claims about ivermectin, COVID-19 PCR tests, and COVID-19 vaccine safety

CLAIM
Ivermectin is an effective COVID-19 treatment; COVID-19 PCR tests lead to false positives; COVID-19 vaccines aren’t working

SOURCE: Nicole Whitley, America First With Dr. Sebastian Gorka

Published: 20 Aug 2021

VERDICT

New York Magazine article on children’s risks from COVID-19 is accurate, but more context regarding difference in risk between young and older children would be helpful

CLAIM
In children, “the mortality risk from COVID-19 is actually lower than from the flu. The risk of severe disease or hospitalization is about the same”.

SOURCE: David Wallace-Wells, New York Magazine

Published: 09 Aug 2021

VERDICT

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

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

INSIGHTS

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...