Jessica P. Johnson

Science Editor, Biology

Jessica holds an MS in microbiology from UMass Amherst and an MS in science journalism from Boston University. She has conducted laboratory and field research in biofuels and environmental restoration. And since 2011 she has covered science research news for PNAS, Nature Medicine, The Scientist, and others.

The Science Feedback team

CLAIM REVIEWS

Eating alkaline food cannot prevent or cure COVID-19

CLAIM
The pH for the coronavirus varies from 5.5 to 8.5. What we need to do to defeat the coronavirus is to consume more alkaline foods above the virus’ pH level.

SOURCE: Facebook users, Facebook

Published: 22 Apr 2020

VERDICT

Some evidence suggests that vitamin C and D supplementation might prevent or treat respiratory infections, but their effectiveness is still being tested with COVID-19

CLAIM
Vitamins C and D are now finally being adopted in the conventional treatment of SARS-CoV-2; Vitamin C at extremely high doses acts as an antiviral drug, actually killing viruses; vitamin D helps the body fight SARS-CoV-2 infection and can cut infection risk.

SOURCE: Joseph Mercola, Mercola

Published: 14 Apr 2020

VERDICT

Viral video mixes truth about COVID-19 with a long list of ineffective treatments and preventions

CLAIM
Coronavirus does not cause a runny nose; is killed by temperatures above 26 degrees; causes lung fibrosis within days of infection; can be diagnosed by holding your breath for 10 seconds; and can be cured in the early stages by drinking plenty of water.

SOURCE: Steven Aitchison, Change Your Thoughts Change Your Life

Published: 03 Apr 2020

VERDICT

The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is real; the story that claims otherwise is a work of fiction

CLAIM
There is no ‘coronavirus’

SOURCE: Facebook users, Facebook

Published: 25 Mar 2020

VERDICT

Claim that not all smokers develop lung discoloration ignores severe health risks linked to smoking

CLAIM
The black lung lie: It’s the widespread belief that smokers’ lungs turn black.

SOURCE: Frank Davis, cfrankdavis.wordpress.com

Published: 31 Dec 2019

VERDICT

HIV drug Truvada linked to kidney damage and bone density loss, but risks are low and usually outweighed by the drug’s benefits

CLAIM
You took Truvada to help protect against HIV, not increase your risk of kidney or bone problems.

SOURCE: Anonymous, A Case for Women

Published: 24 Dec 2019

VERDICT

Bone spurs occasionally form at the base of human skulls, but their growth has not been linked to the use of handheld devices

CLAIM
‘Horns’ are growing on young people’s skulls. Phone use is to blame, research suggests.

SOURCE: Isaac Stanley-Becker, The Washington Post

Published: 19 Nov 2019

VERDICT