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Dr. Anthony Fauci stepped down as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and has no power to declare a lockdown.
He did not make any statement urging the Biden administration to implement a lockdown for unvaccinated Americans in 2023.
The emergence of new COVID-19 variants has fueled rumors on social media warning of the return of pandemic-era mandates around masking and closures. One claim said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has already declared such a move, particularly targeting unvaccinated people.
"Fauci declares that all unvaccinated citizens must be locked down this winter," read the screenshot in an Aug. 24 Instagram post.
This post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)
Fauci does not have the power to declare a lockdown; he stepped down as the agency’s director in December 2022.
The headline in the screenshot was from an Aug. 23 article published by The People’s Voice, which has published misinformation before. Sean Adl-Tabatabai, the author of the article, has experience running misinformation websites.
The article said Fauci "reemerged from retirement and urged the Biden administration to implement a ‘strict lockdown’ this winter for all unvaccinated Americans." It lifted paragraphs from an Aug. 22 article by The Dossier, a Substack publication. The article cited an interview with Fauci uploaded Aug. 15 by Wayne State University.
During the interview, which lasted around 40 minutes, Fauci discussed misinformation against vaccines and discussed the rationale for lockdowns, but he did not say unvaccinated people should be placed under a lockdown.
We rate this claim False.
Instagram post, Aug. 24, 2023
The People’s Voice, Fauci Declares That ALL Unvaccinated Citizens Must Be Locked Down This Winter, Aug. 23, 2023
NIAID, Dr. Anthony Fauci to Leave NIAID at the End of December, Dec. 7, 2022
Poynter, Want to get away with posting fake news on Facebook? Just change your website domain., Jan. 30, 2019
Wayne State University YouTube video, Pandemic Lessons and Role of Faculty in Pandemic Preparedness with Dr. Anthony Fauci, Aug. 15, 2023
Lead Stories, Fact Check: Fauci Did NOT Declare That All 'Unvaccinated Citizens Must Be Locked Down This Winter', Aug. 24, 2023
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