FACT CHECK: Was Dr. Anthony Fauci Recently Confronted By A ‘Political Influencer’ At An Airport?
An image shared on Facebook allegedly shows a news alert on Twitter reporting White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci was confronted by a “political influencer” at the airport.
The tweet has been fabricated. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) refuted the post’s claim, saying Fauci has not been to the airport since before the pandemic.
Fauci, the director of the NIAID, has become a popular target for misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest instance appears to be a claim that he was recently accosted by a “political influencer” while at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. (RELATED: Did Dr. Anthony Fauci Say All Americans Should Be Microchipped?)
The image, which shows an alleged screen grab of tweet from the Twitter account @CnewsTB, masquerades as a breaking news alert, saying, “BREAKING: Instagram influencer/account owner of @Republican.Post reportedly shouted at Dr. Fauci to ‘Go f**k himself’ at the DCA Airport on Thursday morning. Fauci reportedly demanded the political influencer ‘lift his mask up’ in the airport, which triggered the adverse reaction. @Republican.Post has acquired 30,000 new Instagram followers since the incident, after numerous conservatives picked up the story.”
Check Your Fact didn’t find any record of the Twitter account @CnewsTB tweeting the supposed breaking news alert on its timeline. The account is not verified and lists its location as “Parody.” A closer inspection of the supposed tweet revealed it is actually fabricated, as it exceeds the platform’s 280-character limit.
Fauci is often in the news. If he had recently been involved in such an incident at an airport, it would have been covered by major media outlets, yet no reporting could be found. The NIAID also refuted the claim in an email to Check Your Fact, saying Fauci has not been in any airports since before the pandemic.
In August 2020, Fauci told MarketWatch that he would not fly at the time, saying in part, “I am in a risk category. I don’t like to admit it, but I’m 79 years old. I can’t think of a reason to go trans-Atlantic. Right now, I’m very sequestered. I’m on a coronavirus task force. I go to the White House almost every day.” More recently, when asked if he was planning any trips, Fauci said, “I don’t see that in my life. When this is all over, then I’ll worry about that,” Insider reported April 8 this year.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states on its website that face coverings should be worn in indoor public spaces such as airports to help curb the spread of COVID-19.