The Coronavirus Collection: US Government Response

Snopes investigates rumors about how the United States government and other organizations have responded to the coronavirus crisis.

42 Articles
  • Published 6 March 2020
42 Articles

As COVID-19 spread across the world in 2020, rumors about how the U.S. government and other organizations reacted to the crisis did as well. As Snopes investigates those claims, they’ll be collected here.

Check out the other categories to read the rest of our COVID-19 fact checks.

What questions do you have? Help Snopes investigate rumors around the novel coronavirus by sending us your tips.

Did President Trump Refer to the Coronavirus as a ‘Hoax’?

Trump's commentary on the new coronavirus came before the virus began killing patients in the U.S.

Mixture
Did Trump Administration Fire the US Pandemic Response Team?

As a new coronavirus spread in 2020, so did concerns about the United States' preparedness for a potential pandemic.

True
Did President Trump Cut the CDC Budget?

As the new coronavirus spread in February 2020, so did concerns about the United States' readiness to respond to the outbreak.

Mixture
Did DOJ Propose Rollback of Defendants’ Rights During Pandemic?

Any changes affecting constitutional guarantees afforded federal criminal defendants in the U.S. would ultimately be up to Congress.

True
Did Obama Declare Swine Flu an Emergency Only After ‘Millions’ Were Infected?

Not all "fact checks" are created equal.

False
Did US House Speaker Pelosi ‘Hold Back’ Coronavirus Funding?

The blame game for coronavirus response is on, but some claims aren't always accurate.

False
Did Disagreement Over Abortion Slow Coronavirus-Relief Talks?

Sources linked to Republican and Democratic lawmakers had each accused the other side of politicizing the negotiations.

News
Who Allowed 14 People with Coronavirus on a Plane to US with Uninfected Passengers?

The CDC had previously stated its intent to block anyone who tested positive for the disease caused by the new coronavirus from flying on an evacuation flight. Who overruled whom?

News
Does Trump Own Stock in a Company CDC Uses for COVID-19 Tests?

The U.S. president’s finances are complex, but does Donald Trump actually benefit from the CDC’s testing procedures for the new coronavirus?

False
Is White House Invoking the Stafford Act to Impose a Quarantine and Mobilize the National Guard?

Announcements of a "national lockdown" or "mandatory quarantine" would not be made via viral text messages.

False
If You Get Sick With Coronavirus, Can Donald Trump Make You Stay Home?

Who really is in charge of the outbreak response? As with most things in American government, the answer is complicated.

News
Did Schumer Delete a Tweet Criticizing Trump for Banning Air Travel from China ‘Prematurely’?

Pranksters no longer need spend time with Photoshop to create convincing fake tweets.

False
No, This Is Not a Phone Number for Tracking Your Coronavirus Stimulus Payments

The IRS has not announced if Americans will be able to track the status of their stimulus payments as they do federal income tax refunds.

False
Will Your Coronavirus Stimulus Check Count Against Your 2020 Tax Refund?

While the stimulus payment is technically a tax credit, its categorization as such was made only so the government could disburse payments using the IRS’ existing infrastructure.

False
Was National Stockpile Website Edited After Jared Kushner’s Comments?

On April 2, 2020, Jared Kushner said of the federal stockpile: "It's supposed to be our stockpile. It's not supposed to be states' stockpiles that they then use."

True
Are ‘Mass Graves’ Being Dug for COVID-19 Deaths?

New York’s Hart Island has been used as a burial site for unclaimed deceased persons for more than 150 years.

Mostly True
Did Michigan’s Governor Ban the Sale of American Flags?

This outrage isn't going to stir itself.

False
Did Obama Urge US Pandemic Preparedness in 2014?

"There may and likely will come a time in which we have an airborne disease that is deadly," said the former president.

True
Did Dr. Fauci Say There Was ‘Nothing to Worry About’ in Regards to COVID-19?

Accusations that Dr. Anthony Fauci said it was "safe" to go to the movies and gym in late February 2020 ignored key facts about the coronavirus outbreak at that time.

Mixture
Are CDC Guidelines for Reporting COVID-19 Deaths Artificially Inflating Numbers?

An opinion issued by a doctor serving in Minnesota's Legislature gained traction with right-wing news outlets.

False
Did Pelosi Say Congress Would Not Return ‘Unless There Is an Emergency’?

Both the U. S. House and Senate extended their recesses until May 4 due to the dangers of coronavirus.

Mostly False
Did Trump Admin Give $55M to ‘Bankrupt Company’ for N95 Masks It Doesn’t Make?

FEMA stated it knows the company "doesn't make" the masks because the company is a broker, not a manufacturer.

Mixture
Did Texas’ Lt. Gov. Say ‘There Are More Important Things Than Living’?

Dan Patrick called for social-distancing measures to be eased for his state amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Correct Attribution
Are US Citizens Married to Immigrants Excluded from COVID-19 Stimulus Checks?

The answer, in part, depends on how couples filed their taxes.

Mixture
Did Nancy Pelosi Visit Wuhan in November 2019?

Pelosi did take part in a Congressional delegation to China in November -- but in 2015, not 2019.

False
Does an 1866 Court Case Bar States from Enforcing Social-Distancing Regulations?

States may in fact use police powers to protect the health, safety, and welfare of persons within their borders.

False
Is USPS Closing Soon Because of COVID-19?

For many Americans who fear leaving their homes during the pandemic, the Postal Service is a lifeline.

Mixture
Did the CDC Significantly ‘Readjust COVID-19 Death Numbers’?

The COVID-19 "death rate" reported by the CDC goes up with the passage of time, and it has not been substantially revised downwards.

False
Is Kansas City Ordering Churchgoers To Register with the Government?

Sensational headlines suggested the city was singling out churches for heavy-handed surveillance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

False
Did Pence Deliver Empty PPE Boxes to a Rehabilitation Center?

The vice president had made a joke about carrying an empty box for the news cameras.

False
Does Pelosi Want ‘Guaranteed Minimum Incomes’ for ‘Illegal Aliens’ in Next COVID-19 Stimulus?

A right-wing provocateur made the claim in a May 2020 tweet as federal leaders negotiated what to include in their next COVID-19 economic relief package.

Mostly False
Does H.R. 6666 Authorize Removing COVID-19 Patients from Their Homes?

Viral posts claimed that proposed legislation by U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush would supersede constitutional rights during the coronavirus disease pandemic.

False
Does H.R. 6666 Require People to Be Vaccinated for COVID-19?

U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush’s $100 billion grant program proposed in the H.R. 6666 TRACE bill has been widely misrepresented.

Mixture
Can You Defy Pandemic Shutdown Orders and Collect Damages?

Involuntary measures to control disease have a long history in North America.

False
Can People Without Disabilities Use an ADA ‘Mask Loophole’ in Stores?

For the record, Americans without disabilities are not protected by the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Mostly False
Is California Separating Children from Parents Who Have COVID-19?

Someone apparently was hell-bent on scaring families with false rumors during the already stressful coronavirus pandemic.

False
Did the Obama Administration Fail to Prepare a Pandemic ‘Game Plan’?

Tactics and key policy decisions were laid out in a 69-page National Security Council playbook on fighting pandemics put together in 2016.

False
Did the US Surgeon General Recommend the Public Not Wear Masks?

Jerome Adams' comments from early 2020 were re-shared and went viral months after he changed his opinion about the benefit of wearing COVID-19 protective masks.

Mixture
Are Democratic Legislators ‘Giddy’ Over COVID-19 Economic Fallout?

A classic example of what's called "copypasta" spreading unfounded rumors on social media.

False
Did CDC Issue Strict Rules for Reopening Schools in Pandemic?

A widely shared graphic paraphrased CDC recommendations that can be voluntarily adopted by schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mixture
Did Calif. Announce It Will Pay Undocumented Residents COVID-19 Stimulus While Laying Off First Responders?

A meme linked two separate events together to foment political controversy.

Mostly False
Were NY Nursing Homes Full of COVID-19 Patients While Hospital Ship Sat Empty?

Bureaucratic hurdles appeared to have prevented a hospital ship in New York City from being fully used.

Mixture