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- This photo shows Barack Obama and Anthony Fauci at the National Institutes of Health in 2014.
- Melinda Gates is not pictured.
Part of a photo showing former President Barack Obama with Anthony Fauci and two women has been furiously circled in black with a description that suggests the men are behind the coronavirus pandemic.
"Dr. Fauci, Melinda Gates and Barack Obama at the Wuhan Lab in 2015…!!!!" reads the circled text atop the image in a well-shared Facebook post.
It was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
The new coronavirus was first reported in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, and we’ve already debunked claims implying Obama funded the creation of COVID-19 in a lab there.
But the photo in this Facebook post was taken in 2014 in Bethesda, Md., outside Washington, not China.
Obama, then president, was visiting the campus of the National Institutes of Health "to see first-hand the progress that biomedical research is making against Ebola virus disease," according to a blog post by Francis Collins, the agency’s director. In the photo, Obama can be seen talking with Nancy Sullivan, chief of the biodefense research section of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Fauci, director of that institute, is standing behind them alongside Sylvia Burwell, then the Health and Human Services secretary, not philanthropist Melinda Gates.
We rate this post Pants on Fire.
Facebook post, July 14, 2020
PolitiFact, Obama administration did not provide $3.8 million to Wuhan virology lab, April 30, 2020
National Institutes of Health Director’s Blog, President’s visit to NIH highlights research on Ebola, Dec. 2, 2014
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