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Social media users have shared a lot of misinformation about a possible vaccine against COVID-19, including allegations that Americans will be microchipped if they’re vaccinated.
A recent Facebook post uses a similar ploy to discourage people from getting tested for the coronavirus.
"This is what Bill Gates and George Soros want to do," the post says, "secretly stick you with a chip while testing you for the coronavirus... the Dems have a bill on the House floor ready to vote on it to require this …. House Bill 6666…. no bull…. look it up and WAKE UP!!!!"
The post also shows an illustrated cross-section of a person’s nasal passage and mouth while he tilts his head back. In the illustration, someone with white gloves inserts a long swab up the person’s nose into the nasal passage. An arrow pointing toward the end of the swab says: "Implant microchip here."
"If they have to dig this deep to get to ‘infected’ tissues then it isn’t coming out when you talk to someone closer than 6ft," reads text over the image.
This post 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 coronavirus has killed more than 354,000 people worldwide, and more than 100,000 people in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends staying at least 6 feet away from people outside of your home to prevent being exposed to the virus, which is thought to mainly spread from person to person via respiratory droplets that are produced when someone coughs, sneezes or talks.
This post is wrong to suggest that because COVID-19 testing requires a long nasal swab, infected people can’t produce these droplets that could infect someone else.
"The swab has to go pretty far back because cells and fluid must be collected from along the entire passageway that connects the base of the nose to the back of the throat to get a really good specimen," MD Anderson Cancer Center says in this post about COVID-19 testing.
There are also other COVID-19 tests that are less invasive, such as a throat swab, the center adds, but it’s not as sensitive as the nasal swab.
We’ve previously fact-checked several incorrect claims about coronavirus, microchips and Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates and liberal billionaire investor George Soros. We couldn’t find any credible evidence to support the claims being made against the men in this Facebook post.
We’ve also already debunked a claim that "the Democrats are pushing for an implanted microchip in humans, and everyone to be vaccinated."
There is a resolution that was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on May 1 "to authorize the secretary of Health and Human Services to award grants to eligible entities to conduct diagnostic testing for COVID-19, and related activities such as contact tracing, through mobile health units and, as necessary, at individuals’ residences, and for other purposes." But H.R. 6666 doesn’t mention microchips or suggest that people should or will be chipped if they’re tested for COVID-19.
The resolution isn’t on the "House floor" as the Facebook post claims. No action has been taken on the so-called TRACE Act since Rep. Bobby Rush,D.-Ill., introduced it nearly a month ago. Bill Gates also was not involved in crafting the act (and USA Today has more on that in its fact-check).
Gates has recommended contact tracing to end the pandemic. But in an April 23 essay, he says that some countries — China and South Korea among them — have required coronavirus patients to disclose their whereabouts for the past 14 days using GPS information and spending records.
"It is unlikely that Western countries will require this," Gates writes. "There are applications you can download that will help you remember where you have been; if you ever test positive, then you can voluntarily review the history or choose to share it with whoever interviews you about your contacts."
We rate this Facebook post False.
Facebook post, May 10, 2020
The Washington Post, Trump notes ‘very sad milestone’ after U.S. coronavirus death toll surpasses 100,000, May 28, 2020
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, How to protect yourself & others, visited May 28, 2020
MD Anderson Cancer Center, 10 things to know about COVID-19 testing, May 21, 2020
H.R.6666: COVID-19 Testing, Reaching, And Contacting Everyone (TRACE) Act, introduced May 1, 2020
USA Today, Fact check: Bill Gates did not craft contact tracing bill, May 26, 2020
GatesNotes, The first modern pandemic, April 23, 2020
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