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VERIFY: Breaking down viral meme comparing 2009 H1N1 pandemic vs. COVID-19 pandemic

Viral meme compares pandemics faced by both President Trump and President Obama.

HOUSTON — A meme comparing President Barack Obama and President Donald Trump and the pandemics they faced in office is spreading all over social media. The meme also insinuates President Obama gave a $3.7 million grant to Wuhan labs. 

Obama faced the H1N1 virus. 

Trump is facing COVID-19

The meme points out there were nearly 15 times as many cases of H1N1 then there are COVID-19 in the United States. But is it true? 

Our sources are the CDC and Johns Hopkins University

Per CDC estimates, the U.S. saw 60.8 million H1N1 cases in a year from April 2009 to April 2010. 

Eight months into the pandemic Johns Hopkins University reports there are currently 4.7 million COVID-19 cases in the U.S. 

So we can Verify the case totals in this meme are true, but it's missing important context. 

Per the CDC, H1N1 killed 12,469 Americans in a year. COVID-19 has already killed more than 155,000 people in only 8 months.

Finally let's answer this question: 

Which president gave a $3.7 million grant to Wuhan labs? 

Our source this time is the National Institute of Health. 

Project information on their site confirms NIH did award millions of dollars to Ecohealth Alliance, a nonprofit that researched coronaviruses across the globe including in Wuhan from 2014 to 2019. 

So we can Verify both President Trump and President Obama oversaw the grant money that in part funded coronavirus research in a Wuhan lab.


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