Inaccurate claims about face masks, COVID-19 vaccines and insurance schemes have been detailed in a speech viewed 24,000 times on Facebook.
It is not the first time the speaker, Professor Dolores Cahill (people.ucd.ie/dolores.cahill), has shared misinformation about the pandemic (here , here and here). This article will address the most damaging claims.
Speaking to a crowd in Cork in Ireland, Cahill says: “These masks reduce your oxygen, increase the acidity of your blood, which predisposes you to cancer” (here, timestamp 8.0). This baseless claim has circulated online for months and was debunked by Reuters in October last year (here).
It is still true that no evidence has linked face masks to cancer. Medical professionals at the Meedan Health Desk told Reuters: “Because of how tiny oxygen and carbon dioxide molecules are, face masks neither decrease the amount of oxygen that enters a mask nor increase the amount of carbon dioxide that stays in a mask.”
As a result, face masks do not disrupt the body’s pH levels or create a higher risk of cancer, they wrote in an updated explainer (here).
In the video, Cahill continues: “There is a lot of information now that if anyone has got one of these mRNA injections, their car insurance policies and their mortgage insurance policies are no longer valid.”
She adds that recipients of this vaccine will not be eligible for insurance for the rest of their lives (here , timestamp 14.00). However, organisations representing the insurance sector told Reuters this was misinformation.
“Receiving a COVID-19 vaccination will not invalidate any insurance policy, be it Motor, Life or Private Health Insurance”, a spokeswoman for Insurance Ireland (here) wrote in an email.
They said no company within their membership would withdraw provisions based on vaccination and confirmed that insurers “fully supported” public health recommendations to take the COVID-19 injection.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) echoed this statement in an email to Reuters: “Receiving a vaccination against COVID-19 will not impact your insurance cover, be it life, insurance, private medical insurance or other forms of insurance.”
A spokeswoman added that ABI has tried to redress the misinformation with a notice on their website (here).
False. Medical experts told Reuters there is no evidence face masks can cause cancer, while insurance organisations insisted mRNA vaccines do not invalidate insurance policies.
This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here .
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Photo from <a href='https://www.freepik.com/photos/woman'>Woman photo created by benzoix - www.freepik.com</a>