Over the last couple of days, there is a rumor circulating on social media claiming Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert, who has been a vocal critic of "government handouts," had received a $233,000 Paycheck Protection Program loan to help her restaurant during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Social media users started pushing the claim in the wake of her recent comments about government assistance at the Conservative Political Action Conference. "We're here to tell government we don't want your benefits, we don't want your welfare, don't come knocking on my door with your Fauci ouchie, you leave us the hell alone," Boebert said on July 10.
Some critics seized on this, pointing to what they said was a hefty check her restaurant received from the federal government. "Lauren Boebert's restaurant, Shooter's Grill, in Rifle, CO received a $233,305 PPP check," wrote one user.
"Lauren Boebert's restaurant received a $233,000 PPP check and she receives a $174,000 taxpayer-funded salary," commented Brian Tyler Cohen, a progressive political commentator, in a now-deleted tweet.
This claim is false as Boebert's restaurant did not receive a $233,000 PPP loan. Boebert's Shooters Grill in Rifle, Colorado, did not actually receive any COVID-relief funds from the government and the claim that it did stems from confusion over a similar-named restaurant.
CNN's Daniel Dale was among the first to point out that the claim about Boebert's PPP loan was false.
Fact-checking website Snopes also could not find any evidence to support the claim that Boebert's restaurant received a PPP loan. What they did find, however, was a $233,000 PPP loan disbursement to a completely different restaurant named Shooters Sports Grill in Ohio, which caused the confusion.
Cohen also cited it as the reason he deleted his original tweet. "Deleted this tweet. The PPP check was for a bar of the same name in a different state. My job is to stop misinformation, not spread it; no excuse for getting this wrong. I apologize to the congresswoman and you all," he tweeted.