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Fact Check-No evidence Sen. Rand Paul tweeted message on exposing COVID-19 vaccines

A fabricated tweet attributed to U.S. Republican Senator Rand Paul about COVID-19 vaccination has been shared on social media.

“It’s time for Justice! I will share irrefutable evidence how and why the COVID vaccines are harming and killing people. Prepare for the Real Storm! I need you to help me - Share this post with everyone you (know),” the alleged tweet reads.

The image circulating online does not clearly show the account the tweet was allegedly sent from (only “@Rand…” is visible), nor does it show the interactions on the tweet, nor the date of posting.

It was shared as early as Feb. 16 ( here ) ( here ). More recent examples are viewable on Twitter ( here ), Facebook ( here ) ( here ) and Instagram ( t.co/OGn5d4jiGt ).

An iteration posted on May 16 has been retweeted over 9,500 times as of the writing of this article ( here ).

A spokesperson for Sen. Paul told Reuters the tweet “is definitely not authentic in any way, shape, or form.”

Reuters found no evidence Sen. Paul tweeted this message. It is not viewable on his verified active Twitter accounts “@RandPaul” ( archive.ph/wnM9M ) and “@SenRandPaul ( archive.ph/wip/nSfNv ).”

The fake tweet displays the name "Sen. Rand Paul" – but the official active accounts of Paul do not currently have that name. Since at least Feb. 10, 2022, his account @RandPaul features the display name "Rand Paul" (previously "Senator Rand Paul") ( here ) ( here ). His account @SenRandPaul has displayed the name "Senator Rand Paul" since at least Feb. 1 ( here ).

The tweet also does not appear in ProPublica’s Politwoops, which traces deleted tweets by politicians ( here ).

Paul, currently running for reelection ( ballotpedia.org/Rand_Paul ), publicly stated on May 23, 2021 that he didn’t plan to get vaccinated against COVID-19, because he had already had COVID-19 ( here ). He confirmed he was not vaccinated by Aug. 9, 2021, when contacted by Reuters ( here ).

The Kentucky senator has clashed in the past with U.S. infections disease expert Anthony Fauci in pandemic-related hearings ( here ) ( here ).

Paul has previously made claims about vaccines that have been addressed by fact-checkers. For example, he said the risk of myocarditis was higher from COVID-19 vaccination than infection ( here ), but studies have shown the risk is higher with infection ( here ).

The “Storm” reference appears to be a nod to the debunked QAnon conspiracy theory, a term used by adherents of the theory to call the day former U.S. president Donald Trump would “expose” the supposed cabal of child-sex predators that includes prominent Democrats, Hollywood elites and “deep state” allies ( here ), ( here ).

VERDICT

False. There is no evidence Rand Paul tweeted this message about COVID-19 vaccines. A spokesperson for Paul told Reuters the tweet is not authentic.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here.

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