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

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..

Washington Post article provides accurate and insightful report on recent spate of vaping-related illnesses

in Washington Post, by Lena H. Sun and Lindsey Bever

— 13 Sep 2019

"At the moment, it is not possible to know if these pulmonary diseases are related to propylene glycol, glycerol, nicotine, flavorings, or more likely, synthetic/natural drugs some..

The Atlantic provides accurate summary of research on gut microbiome, hypothesizes well-reasoned potential benefits of consuming fresh produce

in The Atlantic, by James Hamblin

— 02 Sep 2019

"The article provides a well balanced discussion of current knowledge surrounding the gut microbiota and benefits of eating whole foods. The author could have provided more details..

CLAIM REVIEWS

VAERS reports alone don’t demonstrate that the COVID-19 vaccines caused adverse events; evidence does not indicate vaccines caused Bell’s palsy and deaths

CLAIM
“Thousands of COVID Vaccine Injuries and 13 U.S. Deaths Reported in December Alone”; “In December, 3,916 COVID vaccine-related adverse events, including 13 deaths, were reported to VAERS”

SOURCE: Anonymous, Children's Health Defense

Published: 19 Jan 2021

VERDICT

Vaccines protect people from diseases, but don’t always prevent disease transmission; research ongoing to determine if COVID-19 vaccines stop transmission

CLAIM
The COVID-19 RNA vaccine “is not a vaccine”; a vaccine has to disrupt transmission by CDC and FDA standards; the vaccine “activate[s] the cell to become a pathogen-manufacturing site”

SOURCE: David Martin, New Earth Project

Published: 12 Jan 2021

VERDICT

The CDC reports more than 2.9 million deaths in the U.S. in 2020; there were at least 377,000 more deaths in 2020 compared to previous years

CLAIM
the number of deaths in America in 2020 was not greater than that in 2019

SOURCE: Facebook users, Facebook, Twitter

Published: 07 Jan 2021

VERDICT

German study did not find wearing face masks harms children; study wasn’t designed to accurately test these effects

CLAIM
"A German study involving over 25,000 children reveals that major negative impacts on the physical, psychological, and behavioral health of children may be far more widespread than reported”

SOURCE: Anonymous, GreenMedInfo

Published: 06 Jan 2021

VERDICT

The virus that causes COVID-19 exists and was identified and isolated multiple times by independent research groups

CLAIM
“The COVID-19 virus does not exist”; “The virus has never been isolated”

SOURCE: Facebook users, Facebook

Published: 01 Jan 2021

VERDICT

PragerU video contains misleading claims about COVID-19 deaths, falsely claims 94% of COVID-19 deaths had pre-existing conditions

CLAIM
“only 6% of COVID-19 deaths were caused by COVID-19 alone”; only 0.056% of the U.S. population has died from COVID-19

SOURCE: Will Witt, PragerU

Published: 24 Dec 2020

VERDICT

Nurse who fainted after getting Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine has a history of fainting episodes; does not mean the vaccine is unsafe

CLAIM
Nurse faints after getting a COVID-19 vaccine

SOURCE: Facebook users, Facebook

Published: 21 Dec 2020

VERDICT

The U.S. National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act does not stop people from suing vaccine manufacturers

CLAIM
“According to the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, you cannot sue a vaccine manufacturer if the vaccine has harmed and/or killed someone”

SOURCE: Rizza Islam, America’s Frontline Doctors, Instagram

Published: 19 Dec 2020

VERDICT

The Krippin virus in “I Am Legend” was intended as a cancer cure, not used as a vaccine

CLAIM
“Remember, in ‘I Am Legend,’ the sickness didn’t make the zombies. The vaccination did.”

SOURCE: Anonymous, Facebook

Published: 15 Dec 2020

VERDICT

The flu is caused by the influenza virus; stress and lack of vitamin D can make infection more likely, but don’t cause the flu

CLAIM
“The flu is not a season! It is an inability to adapt due to decreased sun exposure and water intake, combined with increased sugar intake and stress.”

SOURCE: Anonymous, Healthy Holistic Living

Published: 14 Dec 2020

VERDICT

INSIGHTS

“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...