FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show People Posing As COVID-19 Fatalities ‘For The News’?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

A video shared on Facebook allegedly shows people posing as fake COVID-19 victims “for the news,” including one smoking a cigarette.

Verdict: False

The video does not show fake COVID-19 victims, but rather the creation of a Russian music video.

Fact Check:

The video being shared shows what appears to be several black body bags on the ground, with a person in one of them smoking a cigarette. The clip also circulated widely on Twitter.

“They are preparing dead Rona bodies for the news. One still smoking cigarette. Lol,” one Facebook user alleged. “Every lie will be revealed and exposed.” (RELATED: Viral Image Claims Bodies Infected With COVID-19 In New York Become Property Of State, Get Incinerated)

Check Your Fact conducted a reverse image search of key frames from the video and found the clip likely came from TikTok, where the user @vasyaivanovdesign posted it March 28 with a Russian caption. The TikTok user’s caption roughly translates to “Shooting the video Husky – Never,” according to Google Translate.

“Husky” references the Russian rapper Husky, whose “Never Ever” music video was uploaded to Vimeo four months ago by production designer Vasya Ivanov. The director also posted it on Vimeo six months ago. The clip being shared online appears to come from the filming of that music video.

The footage of the man smoking among the body bags does not appear in the “Never Ever” video; however, in the music video, the rapper can be seen lowering similar body bags down the side of a building with the same exterior wall into the orange truck. The Russian website Ren.TV reported in September 2020 that part of the music video was filmed at the Moscow Regional Research and Clinical Institute and that mannequins in body bags were used, according to a rough translation of the article.

Despite what some social media users have claimed, there is no indication the video shows people posing as victims of COVID-19. Instead, it depicts the filming of a Russian music video. We rate this claim false.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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