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No Evidence to Suggest Navy Pilot’s Crash Was Because of a Vaccine Reaction
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No Evidence to Suggest Navy Pilot’s Crash Was Because of a Vaccine Reaction

A baseless story about the crash has gone viral.

A widely shared article from Real Raw News, which describes itself as an “independent publisher dedicated to exposing political and scientific corruption,” claims there was a “vaccine mishap” involving a pilot aboard the USS Vinson aircraft carrier in the South China Sea. The story’s headline reads: “Navy Pilot Crashes Plane, Ejects, After Vax Reaction.”

According to the article, the pilot received his COVID-19 booster shot 72 hours prior to the accident and suffered myocarditis as a result of the shot. The article further claims that the the “pilot was recovered and taken to medical, where a physician determined he had suffered an acute case of myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle, a common and potentially deadly side effect of Covid-19 vaccinations.”

It is true that on January 24, A U.S. Navy F35C Lightning II combat jet had, “a landing mishap” while “conducting routine flight operations in the South China Sea,” a press release from the U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs says. But there is no evidence that the pilot, who is in stable condition, “suffered an acute case of myocarditis” as the viral article suggests.

The Navy also said that the cause of the “mishap” is still under investigation and made no mention of a COVID booster or myocarditis. In an email to The Dispatch Fact Check, a spokesperson from the Navy also said: “The claims in the Real Raw News story are not based in fact. Additional details and cause of the crash are under investigation.”

A disclaimer on its website, says: “Information on this website is for informational and educational and entertainment purposes. This website contains humor, parody, and satire.”

According to reporting from Politifact, Real Raw News was developed by someone who goes by the pseudonym “Michael Baxter,” and has previously run at least three other websites that similarly promoted conspiracy theories and misinformation. 

Real Raw News has a history of sharing conspiratorial and completely false stories of hangings, arrests, and executions. The Dispatch Fact Check previously examined another viral story from Real Raw News that falsely claimed Navy SEALs pledged loyalty to Donald Trump and arrested Hillary Clinton on March 4, 2021.

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Khaya Himmelman is a fact checker for The Dispatch. She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and Barnard College.