FACT CHECK: Did The US Military Receive COVID-19 Nasal Swab Tests Tainted With A Deadly Bacteria?

Kenia Mazariegos | Contributor

An image shared on Facebook claims a batch of COVID-19 nasal swab tests that were distributed to the U.S. military were tainted with flesh-eating bacteria.

Verdict: False

There is no evidence the U.S. military received tainted COVID-19 nasal swab tests. The claim stems from Real Raw News, a website that says it publishes “humor, parody, and satire.”

Fact Check:

The image shows what appears to be a screenshot of an article published on Jan. 7 that alleges a batch of COVID-19 nasal swab tests distributed to the U.S. military were tainted with necrotizing fasciitis, an aggressive flesh-eating disease. The article cites “Captain Jacob Downing,” an alleged medical doctor and infectious disease expert at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center as the source for the article.

There is, however, no evidence to suggest the claim is true. A Walter Reed spokesperson told Check Your Fact there was no employee by the name of “Jacob Downing” at the medical center. There is also no mention of COVID-19 nasal swab tests being infected with necrotizing fasciitis in press releases from the Department of Defense (DOD) or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“This is false,” said a DOD spokesperson in an email to Check Your Fact. (RELATED: Viral Post Claims Unused COVID-19 Tests Showing Positive Results Were Found In Tuscaloosa)

An internet search reveals the screenshot featured in the Facebook post shows a Jan. 7 article published by Real Raw News, a website that openly states on its “About Us” page that it contains “satire, humor, and parody.” The post shared on Facebook notably did not include such a satire disclaimer.

While there is no evidence the U.S. military received COVID-19 nasal swab tests tainted with a dangerous bacteria, the CDC did accidentally contaminate some of the coronavirus tests it manufactured in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to The New York Times. The contamination rendered the tests ineffective, the outlet reported. 

Kenia Mazariegos

Contributor

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