Rumors that United States President Joe Biden ordered the Veterans Affairs (VA) Department to withhold benefits of veterans who remained unvaccinated circulated on social media platforms, sparking widespread criticism of the Democratic leader and his supposed decision.
Many social media users shared screenshots of a blog post with a headline that read, "Biden Orders VA to withhold Health Benefits From Unvaccinated Veterans." The post quickly went viral and has been shared by many with some doubting the article's legitimacy while others were quick to blame Biden for his failure to protect Americans.
Biden Withholding Veteran Benefits?
But it was later discovered that the satirical blog site called "Delaware Ohio News" was responsible for spreading the false news. The website had put a disclaimer on its website saying that its posts were purely satirical, but has been ignored by many who shared the post. This has left many residents believing that the withholding of benefits from veterans was true.
The Delaware Ohio News website outlined on its "About Us" section that it was a satirical site and everything posted was "made up." The site also had another disclaimer that told viewers that the stories it uploaded were parodies of real people or actual events. It said that names were all made up and noted that any similarity to reality was purely coincidental, Reuters reported.
Many social media users shared the post, including Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, who captioned the post with, "If true, this is insane!" And comes as the article itself noted a "televised speech" by Biden. There was no such address made by the Democratic president where he spoke those words.
The website's article claimed that Biden said, "It's time to get real. Some of you are behaving like some real wise guys here, some real dummies. Wiseguy dumb-dumb boys, as my father used to say. Enough is enough. So sit down and get the dang shot," Newsweek reported.
Ricardo Paye, an author for Delaware Ohio News, sent an email where he said that reasonable readers can come to only one conclusion after browsing their website and that it was a satirical spoof site where every story was made up.
Biden's Vaccine Mandates
However, Biden did make a speech on Sept. 9 about vaccine mandates but was about an executive order that required federal employees and contractors to get inoculated. The address did not mention health benefits or unvaccinated veterans.
The requirements affect as many as 100 million Americans as part of Biden's attempts to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. The Delta variant continues to dominate the cases in the region. The Democratic leader's rule requires employers with more than 100 workers to require their staff to get vaccinated or get tested for the coronavirus every week.
In July, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced that all of its health care personnel who were stationed or visited Veterans Health Administration facilities, or who provided care to those the VA serves would need to get the coronavirus vaccine. But the rule does not affect employees who benefit from the department's services, the Associated Press reported.