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Mayo Clinic: Reports of misdiagnosed pregnancies false

October 17, 2018 GMT

CLAIM: Mayo Clinic employee is misdiagnosing pregnancies of Trump supporters.

AP ASSESSMENT: FALSE. Right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos spread the false information on Facebook Sunday, sharing a screenshot of a tweet under the heading “horrifying, and probably true.” The Twitter user claimed that when Trump supporters came to their office at the clinic, they misdiagnosed healthy pregnancies as ectopic “so they have to abort their white fetuses.” 

THE FACTS: Officials at the Mayo Clinic in June debunked the claim posted by a user who goes by the handle @drnifkin. Clinic officials said they received several complaints online about the original tweet and reported the account to Twitter.  

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In an interview with The Associated Press, Lee Aase, a Mayo Clinic spokesman, attributed the tweet to a troll account. 

“There is no doctor by this name at the Mayo Clinic,” he said. “There is absolutely nothing to it.” 

The Twitter account says it belongs to an “obstetrician at the world-renowned Mayo Clinic parody.” Aase said while Twitter took action against the account, screenshots of the tweet like the one used by Yiannopoulos continue to spread online. 

Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536

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The Associated Press reviewed this story after it was surfaced to third-party fact checkers as part of an initiative with Facebook to assess the accuracy of news content.