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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke October 18, 2023

Old video about emergency declaration in Vermont stirs online anxiety

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  • This video is about an emergency declaration in Vermont after heavy rains and flooding in July; we found no evidence that President Joe Biden declared a national emergency in October and deployed the National Guard as a result.

An Oct. 14 Facebook post utilizes all-caps to relay what feels like breaking news: "BIDEN declares FEDERAL EMERGENCY NAT. GUARD DEPLOYED — IT’S TOO LATE TO LEAVE!"

But the video in the post is several months old.

It 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.)

The video features doomsday prepper Patrick Humphrey, whose YouTube channel regularly publishes false or misleading videos that stoke fear about wide-scale disaster.

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Humphrey first posted the video on YouTube in July. 

In it, he discusses Biden’s declaration that month of a state of emergency in Vermont, which was then experiencing heavy rainfall and flooding. 

A couple of days later, the Vermont National Guard delivered water to communities affected by the floods. 

More recently, Biden has declared emergencies in Guam, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Florida and South Carolina, but we found no evidence that he’s declared a national emergency, as the Facebook post suggests, or has dispatched the National Guard to locations where people aren’t allowed to leave. We rate that claim False.

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Old video about emergency declaration in Vermont stirs online anxiety

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