Fact Checking Claims on Vaccines, Election 2020, and January 6 From CPAC

The agenda for the second day of the Conservative Political Action Conference was diverse, with events like “Breaking China’s Power: No more ‘10% for the Big Guy’” to “Silly Doctor! Sex Changes Aren’t for Kids.” It was also full of misinformation. 

Some was subtle and amorphous, and some was blatant and specific, but the most noteworthy examples touched on three categories that The Dispatch Fact Check has been tracking for some time: vaccine misinformation, election misinformation, and the events of January 6. Here’s a roundup of some of the most significant claims that came out of the second day of the four-day event. 

In a panel titled “Fighters on the Front Line,” Leila Centner, chief executive officer and co-Founder of the Miami-based private school Centner Academy, spoke about her “common sense approach” to the pandemic. Centner made news last year for her controversial policy banning vaccinated teachers from coming into contact with students over concerns about viral shedding. On stage Friday, she spoke about the moment her teachers began getting the COVID vaccine. It was then, she said, that she took a stand. “I really don’t want teachers to get shot,” she said “because we don’t know of the possibility of the vaccinated impacting young unvaccinated kids.” Claims that the COVID-19 vaccines cause viral shedding are false. Shedding can occur only in vaccines that contain weakened versions of the targeted virus. The CDC includes this claim on its list of COVID vaccine myths and  The Dispatch Fact Check debunked these claims months ago.

Vincent Racaniello, professor of microbiology and immunology at Columbia University explained to The Dispatch Fact Check that “With the mRNA vaccines there is no virus in the vaccine and therefore no shedding of virus from any site.” A spokesperson from the CDC also said: “There is no way for a COVID-19 vaccinated person to ‘shed vaccine.’ COVID-19 vaccines give instructions to teach our cells how to make a protein—or even just a piece of a protein—that triggers an immune response inside our bodies. After the protein piece is made, the cell breaks down the instructions and gets rid of them. The immune response, which produces antibodies, is what protects us from getting infected if the real virus enters our bodies. COVID-19 vaccines do not use the live virus that causes COVID-19 and cannot cause COVID-19.”

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