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Fact check: Claim about unvaccinated being sent to quarantine camps started as satire

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The claim: Joe Biden announced people who are not vaccinated by 2022 will be sent to quarantine camps

President Joe Biden has continued to urge those who haven’t received the COVID-19 vaccine to get the shot after missing his goal to get at least one dose to 70% of American adults by July 4.

But he hasn’t threatened the unvaccinated with detention at a “quarantine camp” if they don’t get the shot by 2022, as a post drawing attention on Instagram claims.

Actor Noel Gugliemi, also known as Noel G., shared the post on Instagram but it was removed. Gugliemi posted later that Instagram removed the post. He did not respond to a request for comment.

Another Instagram user posted an identical version on July 20 with the text "Is this real?"

It shows a headline on the website ValueWalk that says Biden “Announces Americans not vaccinated before 2022 will be put in camps,” over an illustration of the president.

It claims the unvaccinated will be “detained indefinitely” if they don’t have a shot by 2022.

That is false. ValueWalk includes a disclaimer that the post is satire, but Gugliemi’s post includes no such label.

Fact check: An altered video splices two clips together to show Biden making toddlers cry

The user who shared the post on July 20 did not respond to Instagram messages seeking comment.

Original post was satire, but presented on Instagram as real

The Instagram post came from the website ValueWalk, but that also was a repost from another website, The Stonk Market.

It's an example of what could be called "stolen satire," where stories written as satire and presented that way originally are captured via screenshot and reposted in a way that makes them appear to be legitimate news. As a result, readers of the second-generation post are misled, as was the case here.

ValueWalk describes itself as “a highly regarded, non-partisan site” that is a resource for investors. The post that claims Biden planned to send unvaccinated people to detention camps in 2022 was listed under ValueWalk’s politics section on June 21.

It includes a disclaimer that the article was satirical, buried underneath several advertisements, and notes that it originally appeared on The Stonk Market.

The Stonk Market version was posted on June 17, four days before ValueWalk reposted it. The Stonk Market calls itself “a financial satire site.” It says its mission is “to provide daily humor and make stonks go up."

While both websites posted the article in jest, the versions shared on Instagram included no disclaimer.

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Several commenters on Gugliemi’s post questioned whether it was real and encouraged him to stop spreading misinformation before it was deleted.

President Joe Biden speaks about the nation's economic recovery amid the COVID-19 pandemic in the State Dining Room of the White House on July 19, 2021, in Washington, D.C.
President Joe Biden speaks about the nation's economic recovery amid the COVID-19 pandemic in the State Dining Room of the White House on July 19, 2021, in Washington, D.C.

Biden pushing vaccines, but no threats about detention

With the Delta variant of the coronavirus now spreading as the dominant strain in the U.S., the White House has continued to push vaccines for those who still have not received at least one dose.

About 56% of people in the U.S. had gotten at least one dose as of July 19. Nearly 49% were fully vaccinated at that time, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The share of adults getting vaccinated is higher: 68% have received at least one dose, and nearly 60% were fully vaccinated as of July 19.

Fact check: Quarantine 'camps' are real, but COVID-19 camp claim stretches truth

After missing the goal of getting 70% of adults at least one dose by July 4, Biden outlined new plans to accelerate vaccine distribution, including door-to-door outreach about the shot and expansion of mobile clinics and vaccination sites for workers.

Pop star Olivia Rodrigo visited the White House in July to promote vaccines, including sharing a selfie with Biden to her 14.9 million Instagram followers to encourage younger people to get vaccinated.

Fact check: Photo of Olivia Rodrigo at White House press briefing altered to add Joe Biden

USA TODAY could find no reference to Biden or other members of his administration threatening detention for the unvaccinated in public remarks.

Our rating: False

The claim that Biden announced people who are not vaccinated by 2022 will be sent to camps is FALSE, based on our research. The claim originated from a satire website. While the source of the original article labels it as satire, the Instagram post shared July 20 does not. USA TODAY could find no evidence that Biden has made any reference to putting unvaccinated people in camps in 2022.

Our fact-check sources:

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Claim about unvaccinated being sent to camps was satire

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