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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke August 17, 2022

Did Congress just warn of a zombie attack? No, that video is fake, and satirical

If Your Time is short

  • This video is from the satire website The Onion. 
 

"Do your own research," suggests a recent Facebook post that shares what looks like a news clip of a man identified as "Rep. John Haller," a Republican from Pennsylvania, introducing a bill to be voted on in Congress. 

"Congress shall now vote for approval of H.R. 8791, the Homeland Terrorism Preparedness Bill. Said bill requests emergency response funding up to and including — I’m sorry this section is classified," Haller says in the video.

He then reads several more classified sections, saying the money is to prepare for a "national terrorism attack and/or attack from ‘classified’" and refers to "flesh-eating," though what is flesh-eating is, of course, "classified."

An animated zombie emoji in the post points to possible attackers. 

"CLASSIFIED," reads text flanking the video. "Wait .. what are they voting for? Research FEMA camps." 

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.)

Let’s do some research. 

First, John Haller isn’t a real congressman from Pennsylvania. Searching for that name turns up references to this video, but nothing connecting him to the U.S. Congress. 

There was a Republican named Harold Smith Haller in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, but he’s been dead since 1964 and didn’t serve in Congress. Libertarian Henry Haller ran for Pennsylvania lieutenant governor in 2014, but there’s no record of him being in Congress, either.

Second, H.R. 8791, also known as the Department of Homeland Security Reform Act of 2020, was a bill introduced by Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., in November of that year to change the structure of the federal agency, such as modifying the responsibilities of the officer for civil rights and civil liberties. The measure, which had 19 co-sponsors, didn’t pertain to flesh-eating zombies. 

Third, although the clip in the post resembles a C-SPAN broadcast, there’s an onion in place of the C in the logo. That’s because this video originated on the satirical website The Onion in 2007. 

"Proposed (Classified) Bill Will Defend Against Flesh-Eating (Classified)," the headline on the Onion story says. 

We rate claims that this is real footage of Congress Pants on Fire! 

 

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Did Congress just warn of a zombie attack? No, that video is fake, and satirical

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