The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are two of the most trusted sources for accurate information about COVID-19. A global and rapidly evolving health crisis makes occasional mistakes inevitable. Correcting misleading statements is a testament to an individual or institution’s credibility.
Both the CDC and WHO have had to retract public statements about the virus.
Although the main source of COVID-19 transmission is from person to person, the CDC had to amend guidelines updated on May 20th, 2020 that falsely claimed infection from contaminated surfaces is rare. We do not yet know how easily infection occurs from touching contaminated surfaces, so continue the practice of washing hands for 20 seconds after touching potentially contaminated surfaces.
The WHO also had to walk back a false statement on June 8, 2020 that asymptomatic transmission is rare. We do not know how much of viral spread is caused by asymptomatic or presymptomatic individuals and studies published the week prior indicate rates of asymptomatic transmission could be relatively high.
Myths & Fake News
Myths and false claims about COVID-19 are not the same as mistakes made by reputable agencies and public health experts who will swiftly and publicly correct a mistake.
For the best COVID-19 information, see resources like the CDC, the WHO and this navigator. If we learn we’ve made a mistake, we will swiftly correct it.
For a list of common COVID-19 myths. The WHO also lists common COVID-19 myths.