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Fact Check-Tweet purportedly sent from immunologist warning of deaths due to COVID-19 vaccine is fake and was tweeted as a social experiment

A post published on an account which masqueraded as a Twitter profile of an immunology professor who claimed that a healthy 20-year-old died as a result of a COVID-19 vaccine is fake. The account was set up as a social experiment and duped users into thinking it was an authentic profile of a medical professional.

The tweet, published on Nov. 26 via an account with the Twitter handle ‘@DrMendalias’ and associated name ‘Dr Mendalias Diputserauoy’, reads: “Another healthy 20 year old [sic] has died on our ward tonight, he had the 2nd pzifer [sic] vaccine yesterday and today developed myocarditis and unfortunately ended up with heart failure. This is a direct result of the vaccine, this shouldn't be happening and we need to speak out about this” (here).

The tweet gathered more than 1,800 likes and 1,200 shares by the time of publication.

One user who shared the tweet said: “Thank you to any doctor brave enough to stand up to these drug companies and speak up about the deaths they’re causing” (here).

Users subsequently screenshotted the post and shared it on Facebook. Examples are viewable (here), (here), (here), (here), (here) and (here).

However, Dr Diputserauoy later tweeted to admit he had fabricated his earlier claims.

He wrote nine hours after the viral post: “Hi, please read my surname backwards. Everything i [sic] have tweeted is made up crap. Why have I done this? To prove how easy it is to set yourself up as a professional and talk utter lies. Stop listening to ramdom [sic] ppl on twitter/Facebook/YouTube and go get the vaccine. I have” (here).

The surname “Diputserauoy” backwards reads: “You are stupid.”

The Twitter bio of the account claimed that the individual was a Professor of Immunology at ‘Calpordoor Institute of Medical Excellence’. No such institute exists.

Prior to the clarification, users screenshotted the original tweet and published it on Facebook, not realizing that the account was a hoax.

An archived version of the Twitter account and tweet at the time of writing is viewable (archive.md/AgNEb), (archive.md/5cnYr).

VERDICT

False. A tweet warning of healthy young adults dying as a result of COVID-19 vaccines is fake. The Twitter account was set up as a social experiment, the user later clarified.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here.

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