Social Media Fact Check: September 18, 2021 - West Hawaii Today

A roundup of some of the most popular but completely untrue stories and visuals of the week. None of these are legit, even though they were shared widely on social media. The Associated Press checked them out. Here are the facts:

Biden is not withholding benefits from unvaccinated veterans


CLAIM: President Joe Biden has ordered the Department of Veterans Affairs to withhold health care benefits from unvaccinated veterans.

THE FACTS: Social media posts falsely suggested that a supposed order from Biden would keep veterans who receive assistance from the Department of Veterans Affairs from accessing health care benefits unless they received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Nov. 1. But the worries proved to be unfounded as no such directive or executive order exists. In a statement to The Associated Press, the Department of Veterans Affairs confirmed the claims were untrue.

“The President has not and will not withhold benefits to Veterans who choose not to be vaccinated,” Veterans Affairs Press Secretary Terrence L. Hayes wrote in a statement. “The spread of this misinformation is extremely detrimental to our Veterans and their families and should cease immediately.”

The claims were spread through an article on a website that describes its stories as “parodies, satire, fiction, fake, not real.” The blog includes a disclaimer explaining that “everything on this website is made up” and warning readers not to “rely on anything said here.” But many social...

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