Posts falsely claim ‘not one politician’ has died from coronavirus
CLAIM: “Not one politician has died from the virus, lost their job, or had their business looted.”
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. Several state and local politicians in the United States have died from the coronavirus, according to reporting by The Associated Press. Politicians around the world have also lost their jobs during the pandemic.
THE FACTS: An image circulating widely on social media on Friday appears to argue the coronavirus is a government setup.
As evidence, it presents the misguided claim that no politician has experienced the pandemic’s gravest consequences.
“Not one politician has died from the virus, lost their job, or had their business looted,” the post reads. “Y’all know you’re being played right?”
Thousands of Facebook users shared the post, despite the fact that its central claim is not true.
Among several U.S. politicians who have died from COVID-19 are South Dakota state Rep. Bob Glanzer and Louisiana state Rep. Reggie Bagala, according to AP reporting.
The family of Michigan state Rep. Isaac Robinson, who died in March, said they believe his death could be related to COVID-19 as well.
Former businessman and Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain died from the coronavirus too, less than two weeks after attending a campaign rally for President Donald Trump in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on June 20.
Across the globe, politicians have also lost their jobs because of the pandemic.
The European Union’s top trade official Phil Hogan resigned from his post after controversy erupted surrounding his questionable adherence to COVID-19 rules during a visit home to Ireland, the AP reported in August.
And several state and local government health officials in the U.S. have quit or been fired because of disagreements on how to handle the pandemic, according to AP reporting.
It’s unclear if businesses owned by current politicians in the U.S. have been targets of break-ins or stolen property.
This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.
Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536