FACT CHECK: Viral Image Claims To Show Tank Deployed In Toronto During The Coronavirus Pandemic

Matt Noel | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook more than 1,500 times purportedly shows a tank deployed in Toronto, Canada, during the coronavirus pandemic.

Verdict: False

This photo, taken in 2016, shows a Canadian tank arriving in Toronto for an art event and is unrelated to the coronavirus pandemic.

Fact Check:

Through a reverse image search, the Daily Caller discovered that while the photo was taken in Toronto, it predates the coronavirus pandemic by over three years. The new coronavirus first emerged in China in late 2019 and has since spread to over 180 countries and regions, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center.

The Canadian Armed Forces Operations tweeted the original photo from its verified Twitter account in October 2016. (RELATED: Viral Image Claims To Show Train Car With COVID-19 Marking)

“Canadian Army Leopard 2 & LAV III arrive for Nuit Blanche at Yonge Dundas Square,” reads the tweet.

Nuit Blanche is an all-night contemporary art event that features hundreds of local, national and international artists each year, according to the City of Toronto website. The 2016 edition of Nuit Blanche was the city’s 11th and included exhibitions in Yonge Dundas Square, according to Global News.

Canada’s Department of National Defense told people in the Toronto area that they may see military personnel and vehicles on the roads in early April, according to the Toronto Sun. The troops were traveling to Canadian Forces Base Borden to form a task force aimed at supporting the Canadian government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“There are no tanks deployed in the streets of Toronto and the vehicles being used to move the troops from the Greater Toronto Area and to CFB Borden are military logistics vehicles, buses, and civilian pattern passenger vehicles,” Lt. Nadine Abou Rjeily, spokeswoman for the 4th Canadian Division, told AFP Fact Check.

At the time of publication, Canada has reported more than 42,900 confirmed cases of coronavirus and some 2,200 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center.

Matt Noel

Fact Check Reporter
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