Fact check: False claims about the coronavirus and the 2020 U.S. presidential election

A post on Facebook makes multiple claims about the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 presidential election. These claims are false.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS

An example of the post can be seen here .

The post makes various claims about COVID-19 and claims that mail-in ballots were the only way the Democrats could win the election. It does not give a source or any evidence for these claims.


The post also claims that the world is in lockdown because of the U.S. elections, not the virus.

COVID-19 was discovered by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Dec. 31, 2019 following reports from Wuhan, China. The WHO and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advise the public to help slow the spread of COVID-19 by maintaining a 6 feet distance from others, frequently washing hands and wearing a mask.

Reuters Fact Check has previously debunked various claims on the virus being a hoax here , here , here and here .

Countries around the world (and that were not in an election year) have imposed varying levels of lockdown to slow the spread of the virus. The University of Oxford Coronavirus Government Response Tracker provides an interactive map here , that show restrictions for most countries.

With more 65 million cases and more than 1.5 million deaths, it is clear that the lockdowns are due to restrict the spread of virus (here).

There is no evidence to support the claim that the world is on lockdown because of the United States election.


COVID-19 is different from the flu in various ways, making it difficult to prove that a case of COVID-19 is just a very bad case of the influenza virus.

John Hopkins Medicine explains on its website that while 290,000 to 650,000 people die from the influenza virus each year, there have been more than 1.5 million deaths reported so far from the COVID-19 virus. (here )

A U.S. study showed that complication rates are higher for those infected with severe COVID-19 than with severe flu (here).

COVID-19 and the influenza virus have similar symptoms such as fever, fatigue, cough, aches and headaches. Unlike the influenza virus, COVID-19 can cause a loss of taste or sense of smell, and appears to be more contagious than the flu ( here and here ).

Reuters Fact Check has previously debunked various flu-related coronavirus claims here , here , here and here .


The U.S. CDC explains the source of COVID-19 was most likely a large seafood and live animal market in Wuhan, China (here).

There is no indication or publicly available evidence suggesting that the coronavirus was "designed" (for more on this: here , here ).


WHO explains on its website that warm temperatures do not prevent or cure COVID-19. (here) UNICEF debunked this claim here , pointing out that many people were also infected in countries such as Australia, Saudi Arabia and Libya, which have warmer climates.

Healthline reported the temperature at which the virus dies is much higher than 73 Fahrenheit (22.7 Celsius) (here).


The post claims that the only way the Democrats could win the election was to make the public afraid to vote in person due to the virus and that mail-in ballots helped the Democrats to win.

Reuters Fact Check previously debunked a claim that COVID-19 was created to eliminate President Donald J. Trump here .

President Trump claimed before the election, without evidence, that voter fraud could hand the presidency to Democratic challenger Joe Biden. Democrats sounded the alarm that voter intimidation and efforts to cast suspicion on mail-in ballots by Republicans would discourage minorities, in particular, from voting (here )  

Despite the fears expressed on both sides, the election was deemed “well managed” by international observers.

Trump told author Bob Woodward that he was aware of its risks but downplayed the danger of the virus, according to Woodward’s new book “Rage” (here).

“I wanted to always play it down,” Trump told author Bob Woodward on March 19, days after he declared a national emergency. “I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.”

There is no evidence to show that the pandemic was created so that the Democrats could win the election through mail-in ballots. More information about mail-in vote safety can be seen here .


False. There is no evidence to support the claims that the pandemic was used by the Democrats to win the election, that the lockdowns were related to the election, that COVID-19 is just a “very bad flu”, a bioweapon or that the virus dies at 73 Fahrenheit (22.7 Celsius).

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work  here  .