Facts Matter: COVID vaccine doesn't inject magnetic microchip

  • President Joe Biden stops to talk to the media May 18 as he drives a Ford F-150 Lightning truck at Ford Dearborn Development Center in Dearborn, Michigan.

    President Joe Biden stops to talk to the media May 18 as he drives a Ford F-150 Lightning truck at Ford Dearborn Development Center in Dearborn, Michigan. Associated Press

Updated 5/29/2021 9:08 PM

Some posts on social media claim the vaccine for COVID-19 contains a microchip that is being injected into people. As purported roof, several videos show a person who has received the inoculation supposedly sticking a magnet to the spot where the shot was given.

"We're chipped," says the woman in a video who claims to show how a magnet will stick to the arm.


But this demonstration is fake, according to the French news agency AFP.

"No. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine cannot cause your arm to be magnetized. This is a hoax, plain and simple," University of Chicago Medicine infectious diseases specialist Stephen Schrantz told AFP.

Schrantz said there is no way the vaccine could cause this to happen.

"It is better explained by two-sided tape on the metal disk being applied to the skin rather than a magnetic reaction," he said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there are no trackers in the shot, and health officials say the four available vaccines, Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca, don't contain any metal-based ingredients.

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"You would have to have put a fairly substantial piece of metal underneath your skin to get the refrigerator magnets to stick," Northwestern University professor Thomas Hope told AFP. "You could not put enough metal or iron, that is going to respond to that, in a needle and inject it into the skin."

Biden drove electric truck without help

President Joe Biden, earlier this month, took a test drive in an electric F-150 Lightning pickup truck during a visit to the Ford Motor Co. plant in Dearborn, Michigan.

"This sucker's quick," Biden said after flooring the gas pedal and speeding through the driving course.

Some social media posts contend he had help with the driving.

"Joe can't even drive himself," read a Facebook post that said Biden was pretending to drive the truck. The post contained two images, one showing the inside of a vehicle with two steering wheels and the other showing the president in the truck with another person in the passenger seat, supposedly with a hand on another steering wheel.


But this claim "hits some major speed bumps," according to PolitiFact.com.

The image of the two steering wheels is actually the self-driving Lexus LS 600hL, which came out in 2017. In the photo of Biden in the F-150, there is a Secret Service agent seated next to him holding a camera on the dashboard, not a second steering wheel.

"This rumor is badly misguided," Ford Motor Co. spokeswoman Melissa Miller told PolitiFact. "There was only one steering wheel in the vehicle the president drove on Tuesday."

Palestinian flag on pyramids is fake

During the recent conflict between Palestinian militants in Gaza and the Israeli military, neighboring Egypt has sent humanitarian aid and medical supplies to Gaza while treating wounded Palestinians.

But the country didn't project the Palestinian flag on its three pyramids of Giza, <URL destination="https://apnews.com/article/fact-checking-076011891114">according to The Associated Press.

</URL>A purported image of the flag lit up on the sides of the pyramids is circulating on social media.

"Egypt showing the flag of Palestine on the pyramids. Thank you Egypt!" wrote one Facebook user who shared the image.

The photo has been manipulated.

The original photo, from 2014, can be found on the Wikimedia Commons website without the Palestinian flag, the AP said.

Biden didn't do drugs with the Beatles

A meme of a newspaper article claiming President Joe Biden recently admitted he did drugs with the Beatles is making the rounds on social media.

The story claims Biden, during a meeting this year with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, told the group he dropped acid with the band after meeting the Beatles in 1966 or 1967.

That never happened, according to Snopes.com.

Biden's meeting with FEMA was covered by several news organizations and can be seen on video, with no such comments from Biden.

The supposed writer of the article, Andy Woodward, can't be found as a writer for Reuters, the supposed source of the story.

The most obvious giveaway that the meme isn't real, according to Snopes, in the partial second column of the story is an exact match with a fake story that has been circulating on social media since 2016.

• Bob Oswald is a veteran Chicago-area journalist and former news editor of the Elgin Courier-News. Contact him at boboswald33@gmail.com.

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