FACT CHECK: Instagram Post Falsely Claims ‘Modified Mosquitoes Have Officially Made It To Ohio’
A post shared on Instagram purports “modified mosquitoes have officially made it to Ohio.”
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There is no evidence supporting the claim.
Scientists are breeding special mosquitoes to combat dengue, according to The Associated Press. The initiative is being tested in more than 12 countries, the outlet reported.
“Modified Mosquitoes Have Officially Made It To Ohio,” text overlay on an image of a map of the U.S. reads. The image highlights Ohio and features mosquitoes being injected with a needle. On the second slide of the post, a video shows a dark trail of smoke following the three planes.
The claim is false, however. The video appears to originally stem from TikTok, where it includes the hashtags #ohioriver, #cincinnati, #newportkentucky, and #laborday. A keyword search indicates a Riverfest Labor Day celebration took place on Sept. 3 on the Ohio River but does not mention anything about modified mosquitoes.
Similarly, an event page for the Riverfest Labor Day celebration is included on the website “Newport On The Levee.” The event page also lists the celebration as taking place on Sept. 3, but there is no reference to modified mosquitoes. According to Wikipedia, Newport is a city in Kentucky located where the Ohio and Licking Rivers meet.
Likewise, Check Your Fact found no credible news reports linking modified mosquitoes to Ohio. Furthermore, Microsoft founder Bill Gates has not publicly commented on the claim. The Instagram video making the claim about the mosquitoes was also shared to YouTube, where it included the hashtag #billgatesisevil.
Although there is no evidence linking Gates to the purported claim, the Microsoft founder announced a $168 million initiative to develop malaria vaccines back in 2008, according to both a press release from the Gates Foundation and Reuters. (RELATED: Did Bill Gates Say ‘People Who Resist The MRNA Tsunami Will Be Excluded From Society?’)
Check Your Fact contacted a North American Properties spokesperson and they directed us to the City of Cincinnati. North American Properties is listed as the Public Relations Team for Newport On The Levee.
Check Your Fact has also contacted the Gates Foundation and the City of Cincinnati for comment and will update this piece accordingly if one is received.