FACT CHECK: Did The National Guard Find Hospitals Empty Of COVID-19 Patients?
A post shared on Facebook claims National Guard doctors found hospitals with no documented COVID-19 patients.
There is no evidence to support the claim. It stems from a website that publishes “humor, parody, and satire.”
Numerous states across the country have deployed their respective National Guards to aid hospitals and medical facilities facing a surge of hospitalizations caused by the omicron variant of the coronavirus, according to CNN. President Joe Biden held a Jan. 13 briefing addressing the activations.
Now, a Facebook post claims some National Guard doctors deployed to these hospitals found them empty of COVID-19 patients. “Just saw this headline,” reads the post. “COVID-19 National Guard Doctors Find Hospitals Empty of Covid Patients. What’s up?”
There is no record of such a discovery being made. Neither the federal National Guard website nor any other state National Guard branches have publicly reported finding hospitals without any COVID-19 patients. There are likewise no credible news reports about such a development. (RELATED: No, The DHS Isn’t Mobilizing The National Guard To Enforce A National Quarantine)
“National Guard medical professionals are supporting medical facilities not just to care for COVID patients,” said a National Guard spokesperson in an email to Check Your Fact when asked about the claim. “They may be caring for non-COVID patients to free up hospital staff to care for COVID patients. They may also be supporting facilities facing staff shortages and struggling to keep up with patient care.”
The claim shared on Facebook appears to stem from an article published by Real Raw News titled, “National Guard Doctors Find Hospitals Empty of Covid Patients.” The article cites the New Jersey Army National Guard as its source and claims National Guard members deployed to New Jersey’s Hudson Regional Hospital found it “empty of even a single Covid patient.” However, publicly available data from the Statesman Journal shows the hospital has reported dozens of COVID-19 hospitalizations in recent weeks.
Real Raw News includes a disclaimer on its “About Us” page that states it contains “humor, parody, and satire.” The website has been the source of baseless viral rumors in the past, including one that circulated on social media in January 2022 and alleged the U.S. military received COVID-19 nasal swab tests that were tainted with flesh-eating bacteria.