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Traditionally Mask-uline (Get It?)

September 3, 2020

Carl Zimmer and Katie Thomas at NYT round up what is known about the CDC’s claim that states need to get ready for a COVID-19 vaccine by next month.

The timing, of course, feels suspicious.

The CDC is being flooded with angry calls from folks who believe a QAnon lie, boosted by the president, that COVID-19 deaths have been greatly exaggerated.

Sen. Joni Ernst tells a campaign audience that she is “so skeptical” of reported COVID-19 death counts, validating the lie.

UNESCO has a whole #ThinkBeforeSharing campaign to confront COVID-19 misinformation, and offers tips to help folks identify the false stuff and keep it from spreading.

Boston College study: Men who think of themselves as “traditionally masculine” don’t want to wear masks, have less trust in science, and less empathy. Coulda told you that.

The Council on Foreign Relations says the arrest of Mubarak Bala “illustrates the fragility of human rights and the rule of law when an individual directly challenges the norms of conservative society in Nigeria.”

Asia Bibi is disassociating herself from her own autobiography (“I wasn’t involved in its drafting.”), saying she doesn’t blame the government authorities for her blasphemy conviction and death sentence. “The wise side with their country and avoid saying anything that sparks hatred from people or increases clashes.” So it looks like she’s not interested in being a revolutionary.

Chrissy Stroop on how folks talk about the evangelical embrace of Kenosha killer Kyle Rittenhouse:

When Christians deflect from addressing the bad behavior of other Christian individuals and groups by writing them out of “true” Christianity, they’re essentially equating Christianity with goodness at the direct expense of nonbelievers and religious minorities who are afforded no equivalent deference.

Religion & Politics reviews the new book Imagining Judeo-Christian America by K. Healan Gaston: “The big debate … was over the legitimacy of the secular public sphere and whether some Americans—Protestants, Catholics, and Jews—were better citizens than atheists, agnostics, and other nonbelievers.”

Three fake pastors in Maryland have been indicted for a Ponzi scheme in which they defrauded victims out of more than $28 million.

Abortion providers in Tennessee are challenging the new state law mandating that they tell women seeking medication abortions that they can reverse the procedure. Which they can’t, so that would be lying to their patients.

Astronomers may have detected the merger-in-progress of two black holes from 7 billion years ago, forming an “intermediate mass black hole.” I know where I’m booking my next vacation.

We’re keeping track of COVID-19 pseudoscience, snake oil, fake cures, and more at CFI’s Coronavirus Resource Center. Separate fact from fiction and inoculate yourself from misinformation at

Linking to a story or webpage does not imply endorsement by Paul or CFI. Not every use of quotation marks is ironic or sarcastic, but it often is.