Do your part to the stop the spread of disinformation by doing three easy things:
- Don’t believe the rumors.
- Don’t pass them along.
- Go to trusted sources of information to get the facts about the federal (COVID-19) response.
Rumor: Do I need to register with FEMA in order to be considered for COVID-19 help from the U.S. Small Business Administration?
Fact: No. If you represent a small business or nonprofit, for information visit the U.S. Small Business Administration’s COVID-19 loan resources page.
FEMA is not able to accept disaster assistance registrations for COVID-19. If you are unemployed due to COVID-19, please contact your local unemployment office.
Rumor: Is FEMA seizing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) or re-routing medical supplies when it’s delivered to the United States?
Fact: FEMA and Customs Border Patrol (CBP) are working together to prevent fraud when PPE and medical supplies enter the United States from overseas. PPE being distributed internally within the United States is not being seized or re-routed by FEMA. Reports of FEMA seizing or re-routing supplies are FALSE.
To report hoarding or price gouging of PPE report it immediately to the National Center for Disaster Fraud calling 866-720-5721 or email@example.com.
Rumor: Did FEMA block shipments of ventilators to my state?
Fact: FEMA did not block shipments of ventilators to any state. FEMA works with HHS and federal partners to coordinate distribution of medical supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE), from multiple sources including the Strategic National Stockpile, private industry donations, federal interagency allocation, and vendor procurements. These shipments are being sent with prioritization given to the areas with greatest need.
Rumor: Is 5G cell phone technology linked to the cause of coronavirus?
Fact: A worldwide online conspiracy theory has attempted to link 5G cell phone technology as being one of the causes of the coronavirus. Many cell towers outside of the U.S. have been set on fire as a result. 5G technology does NOT cause coronavirus.
4/6/20 | Source: Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
Rumor: Do I need a photo ID to be tested for COVID-19 at a Community Based Testing Center (CBTS)?
Fact: To determine if you are a first responder or healthcare worker you will need to provide your official workplace photo ID in order to be priority tested for COVID-19 at a Community Based Testing Center (CBTS).
Rumor: Is FEMA deploying the military?
Fact: On March 22, President Trump directed the Secretary of Defense to permit full federal reimbursement, by FEMA, for some states’ use of their National Guard forces. FEMA has executed a fully reimbursable mission assignment to the Department of Defense, including reimbursement for pay and allowances of National Guard personnel serving in a Title 32 duty status in fulfillment of the FEMA mission assignment.
In addition, the Department of Defense has deployed the U.S.N.S. Comfort to New York and the U.S.N.S. Mercy to Los Angeles.
FEMA has also issued mission assignments to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to design and build alternate care sites in support of the COVID-19 response.
Rumor: Is DHS deploying the National Guard?
Fact: On March 22, President Trump directed the Secretary of Defense to permit full federal reimbursement, by FEMA, for some states’ use of their National Guard forces. The President’s action provides Governors continued command of their National Guard forces, while being federally funded under Title 32. Each state’s National Guard is still under the authority of the Governor and is working in concert with the Department of Defense.
Rumor: I got a call, text, or email saying I could get financial help. Is it legitimate?
Fact: There have been reports that scammers are pretending to be the government, contacting people by robocall, text message, email and other outreach. These scammers say they can get people financial help during the COVID-19 pandemic, and then ask for money or personal information, like your Social Security, bank account or credit card number. This is a SCAM.
Don’t trust anyone who offers financial help and then asks for money or personal information. Federal and local disaster workers do not solicit or accept money. The Department of Homeland Security, FEMA, U.S. Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control staff never charge for disaster assistance.
The Federal Trade Commission scams page has tips to help you avoid scams online, on the phone, by text and through email. If you see a scam, please report it to the Federal Trade Commission: ftc.gov/complaint.
Rumor: Are there any vaccines to prevent or medicines to treat COVID-19?
Fact: Currently, there are no Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved drugs specifically for the treatment of COVID-19. Researchers are studying new drugs, and drugs that are already approved for other health conditions, as possible treatments for COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more information for health care providers about these potential treatments.
The FDA is protecting consumers from unapproved products and false or misleading claims. Consumers and health care professionals can help by reporting suspected fraud to the FDA’s Health Fraud Program or the Office of Criminal Investigations.
Rumor: I’m on Medicare, and someone offered me a COVID-19 test if I provide my Medicare information. Should I accept?
Fact: If you receive any calls like this, please know that it is a scam to get your private personal information. Beneficiaries are being targeted in a number of ways, including telemarketing calls, social media platforms, and door-to-door visits. Do not give out your Medicare, Medicaid, or Social security numbers. And be cautious about any unsolicited requests for your personal information. If you think you need to be tested for the Coronavirus, please call your doctor, who can advise you on what tests you may need.
Rumor: Are older people and those with existing conditions the only ones at risk for coronavirus?
Fact: Older adults and people with serious chronic medical conditions are at higher risk of serious illness. But anyone can become sick, and symptoms can range from mild to severe regardless of how old you are or if you have other medical conditions.
Rumor: Is the government sending everyone money?
Fact: A stimulus package has been passed by Congress to help Americans in need. As information becomes available, it will be updated on www.coronavirus.gov. Unfortunately, scammers are using COVID-19 to take advantage of people. Don’t trust anyone who tells you they can get you money now. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has more information about government scams, including COVID-19 scams.
Rumor: Is there a national lockdown or quarantine?
Fact: No. States and cities are responsible for announcing curfews, shelters in place, or other restrictions and safety measures.
Rumor: Should I stock up on food and supplies?
Fact: Please only buy what your family needs for a week. Buying weeks or months of supplies in advance leads to shortages and makes it difficult for other families to take care of themselves. Consumer demand has been exceptionally high, especially for groceries, cleaning supplies, and healthcare products. Supply chains haven’t been disrupted, but stores need time to restock.
Rumor: Should I worry about hantavirus?
Fact: No. The main way hantavirus spreads to people is through infected mice and rats. It is possible to catch hantavirus from another person, but it’s extremely rare. For more information about hantavirus, visit the CDC’s website.