How “conspiracy theories” defeat the goal of getting Americans vaccinated against COVID-19.
The allegation: Dr Anthony Fauci and Peter Marks said 40% to 50% of CDC and FDA employees refuse the COVID-19 vaccine
The claim follows testimony from Dr.Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, at a Senate hearing on the country’s response to coronaviruses.
“NEW: About 40-50% of CDC and FDA employees refuse COVID-19 vaccine according to Fauci, Marks,” reads a screenshot of a May 14 tweet from the Breaking 911 account. screen was shared by Facebook and Instagram users on May 15th.
The original Breaking 911 tweet has been deleted. However, a archived The May 15 version shows that she has had over 15,000 likes and over 6,000 retweets. Breaking 911 has previously shared misinformation about voter fraud in Arizona and the effectiveness of face masks.
USA TODAY has contacted Breaking 911 and social media users who shared the request for comment.
The claim distorts the comments of the hearing
The Breaking 911 tweet stems from a May 11 Senate hearing in which public health officials testified about the country’s response to the coronavirus. The tweet misrepresents what officials said at that hearing.
Fauci, Marks, CDC director Rochelle Walensky and David Kessler, scientific director of the White House COVID-19 response team, testified at the hearing.
Speaking of the employees of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Fauci replied, “You know, I am not 100% sure, senator. But I think it’s probably a little over half, probably around 60%. ”
Walensky told the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions that CDC employees have the option to submit their vaccination status. However, since the federal government does not require it, the exact percentage is unknown, she said.
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This assertion is misleading.
Fauci, Marks and Walensky never said that employees “refused the vaccine.”
According to the CDC, about 62% of adults in the United States have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as of May 29.
Our rating: False
The claim that Fauci and Marks said 40-50% of FDA and CDC employees refuse to be vaccinated against COVID-19 is FALSE, our research shows. In a Senate hearing, Fauci and Marks estimated that 60% of employees had received the COVID-19 vaccine. Their statements never mentioned the percentage of people “refusing” to be vaccinated. Walensky did not provide the exact percentage of CDC employees who have been vaccinated because the federal government does not require employees to report their immunization status.
Our sources of fact-checking:
- C-SPAN, May 11, Dr Fauci and CDC Director Walensky testify on efforts to fight COVID-19
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, consulté le 30 mai, COVID Data Tracker
- PolitiFact, May 18, no, Fauci and FDA chief did not say 40-50% of CDC, FDA staff refusing COVID injections
- USA TODAY, November 11, 2020, Fact Check: Post on Stolen – and Returned – Arizona Ballots Without Context
- Factcheck.org, March 19, publishes CDC study on the distortion supporting mask mandates to reduce COVID-19
Our fact-checking work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.