Corrected crowd size in paragraph 2
A social media commentary by an Italian journalist about people wary of COVID-19 vaccines has been mistakenly attributed online to French President Emmanuel Macron.
The lengthy text has attracted attention after more than a hundred thousand took to the streets in France to protest against the latest COVID-19 restrictions in the country, which demonstrators say infringe the freedom of choice of people who do not want the vaccination ( here ).
“French President Macron on vaccination requirements: “I no longer have any intention of sacrificing my life, my time, my freedom and the adolescence of my daughters, as well as their right to study properly, for those who refuse to be vaccinated. This time you stay at home, not us,” reads the beginning of a Facebook post ( here ). Other iterations can be seen here , here .
Reuters found the text has been circulating since at least July 18, 2021, according to the earliest posts on Facebook public groups and pages found via social media monitoring tool CrowdTangle ( here , here ).
Most of the iterations contain accurate information about the new measures announced by Macron’s government to fight a rapid surge in coronavirus infections, as reported by Reuters here . These include mandating all health workers in the country to get COVID-19 jabs, and anyone wanting to go into a cinema or board a train to show proof of vaccination or a negative test.
The quotation, however, is not from Macron.
Alex Hern, Technology Editor for The Guardian, suggested on Twitter here , that the confusion originated from Italian journalist Selvaggia Lucarelli’s post on Instagram made on July 13 ( here ). Lucarelli also posted it on her Facebook page ( here )
Lucarelli confirmed she wrote the passage on Twitter here . “In England, on social media, there is a false speech by Macron which was actually a post of mine on Facebook and Instagram. (it is explained in the thread). I will propose myself as a ghost [writer].” (archived here )
In her posts, which featured a photograph of Macron’s address on July 12 ( here ), Lucarelli included a personal commentary (and mentioned her son, not daughters as inaccurately translated in the viral text) prior to referencing Macron’s speech, but this has been lost in the social media posts replicating most of her words without attribution (see full address here: here ).
Another indication that the quotation is not from Macron is that he doesn’t have children. Brigitte Macron, the first lady, has three adult children ( here ).
Misattributed. Quotation attributed to French President Emmanuel Macron telling unvaccinated people: “This time you stay at home, not us” originated from a commentary by an Italian journalist.
This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here .
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.