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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Reproduced from Zignal; Chart: Axios Visuals

Of all the conspiracy theories floating around the internet related to the coronavirus, disinfectant has by far gone the most viral.

Why it matters: Unlike some of the other conspiracy theories gaining traction on the internet, the disinfectant theory has gone viral online in large part because it's so obviously nonsensical that it quickly became an internet meme after President Trump suggested it could be used as a cure for coronavirus.

By the numbers: As of Monday, "Disinfectant Cure" retains the most widely-discussed conspiracy, despite discussion around the issue fading rapidly.

  • "Bill Gates Created Virus" continues to generate between 40k and 80 pieces of content a day on a consistent basis, per Zignal Labs.
  • "Hydroxychloroquine Questionable Claims" continues its boom/bust cycle of entering and fading from the news over the course of the month.

Go deeper: Scammers cash in on coronavirus panic

Go deeper

Aug 12, 2020 - Health

Florida sheriff bans employees from wearing masks

Sheriff woods. Photo: Gerardo Mora/Getty Images

Sheriff Billy Woods of Marion County, Fla., prohibited his employees from wearing masks at work on Tuesday, disputing — in spite of scientific evidence — that they help curb the spread of coronavirus, the Ocala Star-Banner reports.

Why it matters: Many large police departments only suggest officers wear masks, and some have faced public scrutiny for tenuous or nonexistent mask policies. But Woods is among the first law enforcement officials to outright ban masks for his department, according to the Washington Post.

Aug 13, 2020 - Health

U.S. records deadliest coronavirus day of the summer

Healthcare workers handling coronavirus tests in Los Angeles on August 11. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The U.S. reported 1,485 deaths due to the coronavirus on Wednesday, COVID Tracking Project data shows.

Why it matters: It's the highest single-day COVID-19 death toll since May 15, when the country reported 1,507 deaths. The U.S. has seen a total of 157,758 deaths from the virus.

Aug 13, 2020 - Health

We're doing a lot less coronavirus testing

Data: The COVID Tracking Project; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The U.S. is cutting back on coronavirus testing. Nationally, the number of tests performed each day is about 17% lower than it was at the end of July, and testing is also declining in hard-hit states.

Why it matters: This big reduction in testing has helped clear away delays that undermined the response to the pandemic. But doing fewer tests can also undermine the response to the pandemic.

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