FACT CHECK: Image Claims To Show A CDC Infographic Saying “Refusing To Take The Vaccine Is A Form Of Racism’

Trevor Schakohl | Legal Reporter

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows a graphic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that states refusing to be vaccinated is a “form of racism.”

Verdict: False

The CDC has not said refusing the COVID-19 vaccine is racist. The text in the graphic has been digitally altered.

Fact Check:

The image in the Facebook post shows what appears to be a graphic featuring the CDC’s logo with an illustration of a masked person receiving a vaccine. “FACT: Refusing to take the vaccine is a form of racism since it harms people of color,” text in the supposed graphic reads.

The alleged graphic is seemingly in reference to the COVID-19 vaccine. COVID-19 has disproportionately affected “racial and ethnic minority groups,” according to the CDC. (RELATED: Did Mariah Carey Fake Her COVID-19 Vaccination?)

However, the purported graphic being shared online is not a genuine CDC graphic. Instead, it appears to be a doctored version of a real CDC infographic about COVID-19 vaccinations. The CDC’s verified Twitter account on April 6 tweeted a graphic with the same illustration of a masked person receiving a vaccine that said, “You may have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection.”

In the doctored version of the graphic, the text has been changed. When asked about the authenticity of the alleged graphic saying “refusing to take the vaccine is a form of racism,” senior public affairs specialist for the CDC Belsie González confirmed to Check Your Fact in an email that it was “not developed or posted by CDC.”

Additionally, the purported statement doesn’t appear in any of the agency’s social media posts, nor could it be found on its website. A wider internet search by Check Your Fact didn’t turn up any media reports about the CDC saying that refusing the vaccine is racist, either.

CDC director Rochelle Walensky said in an April 8 statement that racism was “a serious public health threat.” She further stated that the agency is using COVID-19 funds to make “new and expanded investments in racial and ethnic minority communities and other disproportionately affected communities around the country.”

Trevor Schakohl

Legal Reporter
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