A viral claim suggesting that a bioweapons attack was launched in the "ReAwaken America" event in Texas using anthrax or other biological agent is found to be fake. The claim originated after several speakers and attendees fell ill after the event.
The conservative ReAwaken America conference was held in Texas from December 9 to 11 and saw several speakers including Former U.S. President Donald Trump adviser Michael Flynn, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, and the Founder of Infowars Alex Jones.
What Started the Hoax?
As per the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) the symptoms of anthrax poisoning include cough and shortness of breath. The hoax theory came into existence after Joe Oltmann, a far-right influencer who was one of the speakers at the event, wrote on his Telegram account about being sick.
"South Florida peeps. I have a [sic] urgent need! I have been sick with what could be an anthrax attack it turns out. More later on this," read his post. He also posted about the 2020 election conspiracy theorist Jovan Pulitzer, who was also part of the ReAwaken America event, was also not well. "Jovan Pulitzer is in a bad place right now. Please pray for him. Bring the spirit of healing upon him. In Jesus name, Amen," Oltmann wrote. "Might be Anthrax."
Later in a series of tweets , Pulitzer also confirmed that he was sick and that the "evidence suggest that several of us were targeted by biological agents at an event (sic)."
Claiming that he suffered from rashes, blistering, passing blood, hallucinations as well as "massive fever storms," Pulitzer wrote, "o my friends tried to keep this underwraps until we knew what we were dealing with but Evidence suggest that several of us were targeted by biological agents at an event This has wreaked havoc on my system w all of the most dangerous symptoms appearing Scary to say the least."
Here is the Truth
Debunking the claim being made by the conspiracy theorists, Snopes, a fact checking website, claimed that it was not a bioterrorism attack as was being claimed by the prominent speakers at the event. "The bioterrorism attack on U.S. soil would no doubt spark a massive emergency response and result in investigations at multiple levels of government," the article read.
The outlet even contacted the local police to ascertain if they were aware of any such incident taking place in the ReAwaken America event. The police claimed that nothing of the kind had been reported to them.
Further, in a communique to the outlet, a spokesman for Frisco police said that there have been "no reports" of anthrax or any biological agent deployed against the event.