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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke November 9, 2020

No, Joe Biden hasn’t asked Mitt Romney to be his health and human services secretary

If Your Time is short

  • Sen. Mitt Romney’s press secretary said this isn’t true.
     
  • No other information exists to corroborate the claim.
 

President-elect Joe Biden has indicated that he’ll move quickly to build his incoming administration, but a recent story that he’s tapped Sen. Mitt Romney as his secretary of health and human services is wrong, according to a spokesperson for the Republican. 

"There’s absolutely no truth to that story," Arielle Mueller, Romney’s press secretary, told us.

Still, a Nov. 7 post on the website The Buffalo Chronicle that cited unnamed sources and does not have a byline is spreading widely on social media. 

"Mitt Romney has been asked to lead Health and Human Services in Biden administration," the headline said. The story went on to say Romney is "discussing the nomination with his family and is expected to accept the appointment."

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.) 

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The Biden campaign did not respond to our questions about the Buffalo Chronicle story. 

But searching online, we found nothing to corroborate the claims in the post except for a headline from a CBS News affiliate in Salt Lake City that said, "Mitt Romney may be nominated by presumed president-elect Joe Biden to head the HHS." It appears the story has been deleted; when we clicked on the link, it led to an error page. An archived version of the story shows it relied solely on the Buffalo Chronicle.  

We rate this post False.

This fact check is available at IFCN’s 2020 US Elections #Chatbot on WhatsApp. Click here, for more.

Our Sources

The Buffalo Chronicle, Mitt Romney has been asked to lead Health and Human Services in Biden administration, Nov. 7, 2020

The Associated Press, Biden seeks to move quickly and build out his administration, Nov. 8, 2020

KUTV, Mitt Romney may be nominated by presumed president-elect Joe Biden to head the HHS, Nov. 8, 2020

BuzzFeed News, The Canadian election’s surprise influencer is a Buffalo man targeting Canadians with viral disinformation, Oct. 18, 2020

Email interview with Arielle Mueller, Sen. Mitt Romney press secretary, Nov. 9, 2020

 

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No, Joe Biden hasn’t asked Mitt Romney to be his health and human services secretary

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