USA TODAY US Edition
COVID-19 a pandemic, still a global concern
A meme shared on Facebook says the coronavirus is not a pandemic. As evidence, it claims the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention removed references to “the COVID-19 pandemic” from its website.
The post includes a screenshot of the CDC mobile homepage, which says at the top, “Coronavirus Disease 2019: CDC is responding to the novel coronavirus outbreak.”
One Facebook user posted the meme along with these comments: “Would you look at that. Yet still out there wearing a (mask), still mentally messing up kids, still have insane travel restrictions, still won’t open all business.” The user did not respond to a request for comment.
Many who shared this meme included #OpenAmerica in their posts on Facebook and Instagram.
Has pandemic been downgraded?
The CDC website still refers to COVID-19 as a pandemic in multiple places.
On Sept. 15, the CDC released guidance for schools on how to make reopening decisions, referring to the “pandemic.”
What is a pandemic?
A pandemic is defined as an outbreak of a disease that occurs over a wide geographic area, such as a continent or the entire globe.
On March 11, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. On March 13, a national emergency was declared in the USA related to the outbreak of the coronavirus.
As of Wednesday, the coronavirus had infected more than 31.6 million people in 188 countries and regions, according to Johns Hopkins University, which tracks the virus worldwide. There are very few countries where the virus has not surfaced, including several isolated island nations.
Our ruling: False
The meme is wrong. The COVID-19 outbreak, though often described that way, is still a pandemic and has been since March 11.
As of Wednesday, the coronavirus had infected more than 31.6 million people in 188 countries and regions, according to Johns Hopkins University, which tracks the virus worldwide.
Our fact check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.