Can Tap Water Test Positive for COVID-19? Fact-checking 3 of This Week’s Hottest Rumors

Can Tap Water Test Positive for COVID-19? Fact-checking 3 of This Week’s Hottest Rumors

Can tap water test positive for COVID-19? Did the WHO’s director-general say COVID-19 vaccines are being used to kill children? Are McDonald’s exercise bikes real? Keep on reading to learn if three of this week’s hottest rumors are true!

Can tap water test positive for COVID-19? False!

It might sound crazy, but people have been putting tap water onto COVID-19 lateral flow tests, posting their results online, and claiming that the infectious disease can be present in the water supply.

English pop group Right Said Fred — best known for their early ’90s hit I’m Too Sexy — really added fuel to this rumor with their recent Twitter post that garnered over 10,000 likes:

tap water lateral-flow-test
Right Said Fred’s post.
Source: Twitter

People all over Facebook have been conducting their own experiments and posting their results, too.

tap water test positive for covid
One of the more popular Facebook posts spreading this rumor.
Source: Facebook

Throughout the pandemic, people have been putting lots of things onto COVID-19 tests, from kiwis to ketchup. However, all the results, including the ones pertaining to this rumor — whether positive or negative — are 100% scientifically irrelevant. Lateral flow tests for COVID-19 are designed to detect disease-related antigens and antibodies in samples taken from the nose and throat only. Any other substances that come into contact with the test have different chemical properties which can result in inaccurate and misleading results.

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Did the WHO’s director-general say COVID-19 vaccines are being used to kill children? Nope!

Social media users have been claiming that at a recent press briefing, the WHO’s director-general, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, stated that vaccines are being used to kill children.

Vaccine kill children
One of the many posts circulating this rumor.
Source: Twitter

The rumor started with people spreading a video clip in which Dr. Ghebreyesus stumbles slightly over his words. While talking about booster shots, he explains how they are most effective when given to people over 60, as opposed to children. He states that “Rather than, as we see, some countries are using [their supply of vaccines] to give boosters to children. Which is not right.” However, when he says the word “children”, he stumbles over its first syllable, making it sound similar to the word “kill”. After he corrects himself, it unintentionally sounds like he says “kill children”.

The WHO addressed this rumor and clarified that claims that Dr. Ghebreyesus believes vaccines are being used to kill children are “100 incorrect”. Verdict? Completely false!

Are McDonald’s exercise bikes real?

A video showing exercise bikes installed in a McDonald’s in China recently went viral on TikTok, garnering over 40 million views.

Source: TikTok

The video is real, but the purpose of the exercise bikes is different than it first appears. While many people thought the exercise bikes were to help people burn off the calories in their McDonald’s meals, they were actually installed as more of a green initiative. Their main purpose is to generate electricity so people can charge their mobile devices, although they naturally offer the added benefit of exercise, too.

The bikes have currently been installed at two locations in China, including Shanghai, which is the location featured in the video.

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