FACT CHECK: Does Beto O’Rourke Have Monkeypox?

Christine Sellers | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Facebook claims former Texas Democratic Rep. and current gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke contracted monkeypox.

Verdict: False

A spokesperson for O’Rourke denied that he had contracted monkeypox. O’Rourke stated on his Twitter that he had a bacterial infection.

Fact Check:

O’Rourke announced his campaign for governor of Texas in November 2021, according to The Texas Tribune. O’Rourke also previously ran in the 2020 presidential election and for the U.S. Senate in 2018 against incumbent Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, the outlet reported.

Now, a post shared on Facebook claims O’Rourke has monkeypox. “How did Beto get monkeypox,” reads the post. Other iterations of the claim have circulated on Facebook.

The claim is baseless. There are no credible news reports to suggest that O’Rourke contracted monkeypox. News of the purported monkeypox diagnosis does not appear on O’Rourke’s campaign website or his verified social media pages either.

“That post is false. Doctors diagnosed Beto with a bacterial infection, which they treated with antibiotics,” Chris Evans, a spokesperson for O’Rourke, told Check Your Fact via email. His symptoms continue to improve and he will be back on the road as soon as he is able.”

Evans also directed Check Your Fact to the statement O’Rourke shared about his illness on Twitter.

“After feeling ill on Friday, I went to Methodist Hospital in San Antonio where I was diagnosed with a bacterial infection. The extraordinary team there — from custodians to nurses and doctors — gave me excellent care and attention, including IV antibiotics and rest,” O’Rourke’s tweet reads. (RELATED: Did BBC News Share This Graphic About Monkeypox Being Airborne?)

O’Rourke planned to hold virtual meetings with his campaign organizers and supporters while he continued to recover Monday, according to The San Antonio Current.

This is not the first time misinformation regarding O’Rourke has circulated on social media. Check Your Fact previously debunked a claim from September 2019 that suggested the gubernatorial candidate could not buy guns due to a criminal record.

Christine Sellers

Fact Check Reporter
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