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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke September 20, 2023

Social media posts exaggerate real stories about plasma transfusions to suggest something sinister

If Your Time is short

  • In 2018, CBS News reported on a clinical trial focused on transfusing blood from young donors to adults older than 35. It didn’t warn that world leaders and elite businessmen were ingesting the blood of young children.

  • Learn more about PolitiFact's fact-checking process and rating system.

Are politicians such as President Joe Biden drinking the blood of young children? 

That’s what a recent Instagram post suggests while sharing video clips of Biden interacting with children. 

"Creepy Joe," the Sept. 17 post says. "World leaders & elite businessmen are ingesting the blood of young children in order to achieve ‘eternal youth,’ a CBS report warns. What was once dismissed as a ‘conspiracy theory’ is now being publicly acknowledged by billionaires & the mainstream media."

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.)

Most of that text in the post was pulled straight from a discredited 2018 blog post

"CBS: Elites are lining up to ingest the blood of children," read the headline of a since-deleted post on News Punch, a site that regularly published misinformation. The post linked to a 2018 story by KYW-TV, A Philadelphia CBS affiliate, about a "controversial treatment" that transfused patients with "young blood" from teenagers to reverse the aging process. 

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A startup company called Ambrosia was testing transfusions of plasma — the liquid portion of blood — from young donors to patients older than 35 in a clinical trial. According to the study’s description, donors were ages 16 to 25.

But a couple of months later, the company said it had stopped treating patients after the Food and Drug Administration said there was no proof such treatments could prevent aging and memory loss. 

"We have significant public health concerns about the promotion and use of plasma for these purposes," then-FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a February 2019 statement

NBC News reported then that Ambrosia wasn’t "the only company that aggressively marketed scientifically dubious potions to those desperate to preserve their youth." 

But we found no credible reports, least of all from CBS News, warning that "world leaders" and "elite businessmen" were ingesting young children’s blood.

We rate that claim Pants on Fire! 


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Social media posts exaggerate real stories about plasma transfusions to suggest something sinister

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