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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke March 25, 2020

No, the military doesn’t have COVID-19 quarantine team Humvees in Michigan

If Your Time is short

  • An image of a Humvee labeled “COVID-19 quarantine team” was either doctored or the vehicle belongs to a civilian, according to the Michigan National Guard.
  • The same image has been shared and described as a vehicle spotted in Ohio and London, England. 
 

As cities, counties and states issue shelter-in-place orders for their residents, rumors are swirling about whether martial law has taken root. One recent example of this concern — that ordinary law has been suspended and the military has taken control — is evident in an image being shared online that shows a Humvee with the words "COVID-19 quarantine team" written across its side. 

"Seen on 696 get ready," warns one Facebook post.

"Was seen on 696 get ready," reads another. ‘Prayers."  

In the picture, the Humvee is on a road and the photo appears to be taken from the seat of a passing vehicle..

These posts were flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.) 

We found no credible evidence that any military branches have "COVID-19 quarantine team" Humvees cruising on Interstate 696, a highway in Michigan, or any other roads in the United States. 

Capt. Andrew Layton, a spokesperson for the Michigan National Guard, told PolitiFact said the image was either doctored or a civilian-owned vehicle. It "most certainly" isn’t part of the Michigan National Guard’s assets, he said. 

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"There are no ‘quarantine teams’ in Michigan," he added.

The National Guard is supporting the state’s response to COVID-19, though. Guard members have helped the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services with loading and assembling personal protective gear like gowns and face shields, he said. 

Guard members are also helping state-operated veterans homes in Grand Rapids and Marquette, which includes checking  temperatures of all employees before they enter the residents’ homes and "ensuring screening protocols are followed to ensure the safety of veteran residents," Layton said. 

Searching for "COVID-19 quarantine team" online turned up only links to fact-checks, unsubstantiated social media posts and forums like 4Chan, the source of several high-profile conspiracy theories. 

A YouTube video from March 16 shows the same image that’s in the Facebook posts, only this time the vehicle is allegedly in Ohio. 

A March 19 tweet claims the photograph was taken on the M25 in London. BuzzFeed found that and other claims about the British Army’s role in restrictions in response to the coronavirus to be false.

Uncorroborated claims about a "COVID-19 quarantine team" in Michigan merit the same rating: False.

 

Our Sources

Facebook post, March 16, 2020

Facebook post, March 16, 2020

YouTube video, March 16, 2020

Tweet, March 19, 2020

BuzzFeed, No, the British Army isn’t marching through London because of coronavirus, March 18, 2020

Vanity Fair, How a QAnon coronavirus conspiracy about Oprah went viral, March 18, 2020

PolitiFact, We answered your questions on government action on the coronavirus, March 17, 2020

Email interview, Andrew Layton, deputy state public affairs office, Michigan National Guard, March 24, 2020

 

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No, the military doesn’t have COVID-19 quarantine team Humvees in Michigan

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