FACT CHECK: Did CNN Air A Chyron About COVID-19 Vaccine Recipients ‘Eating Other Patients’?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows CNN airing a chyron that reads, “Hospitals On Lockdown As First COVID Vaccine Patients Start Eating Other Patients.”

Verdict: False

There is no evidence CNN aired this chyron. The photo behind the fabricated chyron comes from a New York Times opinion article about treating gunshot victims

Fact Check:

COVID-19 vaccines began being distributed to health care workers in the U.S. Dec. 14, the Washington Post reported. More than 2 million people have already received the first dose of the vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

An image on Facebook shares what appears to be a screen grab of a live news broadcast from CNN showing an emergency room in disarray along with a chyron reading, “Breaking News: Hospitals On Lockdown As First COVID Vaccine Patients Start Eating Other Patients.”

There is no record, however, of CNN ever broadcasting such a chyron. A search of CNN’s website turned up no news reports of people who received a COVID-19 vaccine “eating other patients.” There is likewise no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccine causes cannibalism as a side effect. Had a hospital seen such a side effect in its vaccine recipients, it would certainly have been covered by media outlets, yet none have.

A reverse image search of the alleged screen grab reveals that the photo of the emergency room actually originates from a New York Times opinion piece written by Eric Curran about his experience treating gunshot wound victims. Curran also took the photos used in the article.

“The trauma bay in the emergency department at Temple University Hospital after resuscitation efforts failed,” reads the original photo’s caption. (RELATED: Did CNN Air This Chyron About ‘Two Deadly Viruses’ Killing Nigerians?)

This isn’t the first time social media users have shared a doctored CNN news chyron. In October, Check Your Fact debunked the false claim that CNN aired a chyron reading, “Two deadly viruses are killing Nigerians: COVID-19 and SARS.”

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Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Reporter
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