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A screenshot began circulating online last week purporting to show a social media post made by the musician, real name Robert James Ritchie, surrounding supposed animal deaths during the vaccine’s trial phase.
“Pfizer stopped testing on animals because they kept dying? That’s not very reassuring,” the post said.
The caption was accompanied by a 58-second clip in which a politician can be heard asking a pediatrician about the vaccine’s supposed safety issues.
The politician goes on to claim that he had read that Pfizer “actually started the animal tests and, because the animals were dying, they stopped the tests.”
The clip was seen by many as proof that the COVID-19 vaccine had been dangerous from the beginning and that Kid Rock, who has been no stranger to COVID conspiracy theories, had been vindicated.
Links to Kid Rock’s supposed GETTR post were shared widely on sites like Twitter and Facebook.
As it turns out, the clip isn’t actually new and was not promoted by Kid Rock. Despite its username, a quick look at the GETTR account’s bio notes that the page is nothing more than a fan-run account
And the video itself is more than a year old. The footage was originally filmed during a Texas Senate Committee on State Affairs hearing from May 6, 2021.
The politician who claimed to have heard that Pfizer stopped testing the COVID vaccine on animals due to mass-deaths is Republican Sen. Bob Hall, who is widely known for spreading conspiracy theories regarding the vaccine as well as the pandemic.
Unsurprisingly, it turns out the claims made by both during the hearing are false. Not only that, the video has been spreading online since at least May 15, 2021 and only recently went viral again.
Pfizer as well as the other major pharmaceutical companies that produced COVID vaccines did carry out animal studies and were not forced to stop due to animal deaths.
Why it matters
It is easy to retweet or share a claim online that may appear legitimate, but the Kid Rock conspiracy shows the importance of taking a few moments to examine such claims before pressing the retweet button.
Although the video did show an official government hearing regarding the COVID vaccine, the allegations made were not based in fact.
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*First Published: Aug 9, 2022, 6:00 am CDT
Mikael Thalen is a tech and security reporter based in Seattle, covering social media, data breaches, hackers, and more.