Fact-checking Alfie Oakes’ latest Facebook claims

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A well-known Naples businessman who called the coronavirus a hoax and a scam said to fact-check him, so WINK News set out to do that.

Alfie Oakes, who owns Seed to Table, posted Wednesday on Facebook claiming fewer people have died in the first seven months of 2020 than during the same period of 2018 and 2019.

Dr. Christina Johns wants everyone to get one thing straight: “Coronavirus is in no way a scam.”

Oakes disagrees. He’s notorious for saying that masks aren’t necessary, and he made a post on Facebook outlining different points about the virus, saying his staff doesn’t wear masks and barely anyone has gotten sick.

Johns has a message for him. “Masks are helpful,” she said. “While they may not necessarily protect the wearer completely from particles getting into, through the mask or around the sides and into the body, it protects the wearer from expelling out droplets and scattering them everywhere.”

Oakes also wrote that the facts clearly show less people have died during the first seven months of this year than during the same period in 2018 and 2019. He failed to say where he got his statistics and whether he’s talking about Florida or the entire country.

So, WINK News went to the CDC website, where only numbers for the first three months of the year are available. We compared the number of deaths in Florida for the first three months of 2019 and 2020. In that narrow view, Oakes is correct – by 2,858 people.

It’s important to note that we didn’t see a spike in COVID deaths until much later. Those official numbers we still don’t have.

John’s advice? “Put on that darn mask.”

However, she warned not to wear masks with vents because particles can still go through them and that’s exactly what we want to avoid.

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