FACT CHECK: Viral Image Claims To Show Canada’s Health Minister Looking Sickly
An image shared on Facebook over 700 times purportedly shows Canada’s health minister looking sickly.
The image has been digitally altered and does not show the Canadian minister of health.
The widely shared Sept. 10 image shows a headshot of a woman who appears to have large black eyes and blemishes on her skin. The text inside the image claims the woman is Canada’s health minister, while the post’s caption reads, “Look very closely…what does your intuition tell you?” (RELATED: Will All Walmarts In Canada Require Customers To Show Proof Of COVID-19 Vaccination To Enter Starting In November?)
The woman pictured, however, is not Canada’s minister of health. Through a reverse image search, Check Your Fact found an unedited version of the photo featured in an April 2020 Toronto Star article. The article identifies the woman as Dr. Theresa Tam, who serves as chief public health officer of Canada, according to the Canadian government’s website. Patty Hajdu is the current minister of health in Canada.
The image of Tam shared on Facebook has been digitally altered to make her look sickly. No blemishes are visible in the genuine picture of her found in the Toronto Star article. Her eyes appear regularly-sized in the original, while in the version shared on Facebook they appear overly large and dark. Her teeth also appear to have been accentuated in the altered image. In the unaltered version, Tam looks healthy.
This is not the first time the image of a public health official has been deceptively altered. In May 2020, Check Your Fact debunked a digitally altered photo of Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer looking sickly.