A viral hoax has surfaced on social media regarding the arrest of Patricia Conrad by the U.S. Marines. The hoax about Dr Anthony Fauci's NIH assistant is found to be baseless rumour based on a satire piece published on Real Raw News.
It isn't the first time when a baseless rumor regarding the arrest of a person associated with Fauci has emerged on social media. Earlier, it was claimed that Anita Dunn has been sentences to death at Guantanamo Bay.
How Did the Fake Claim Originate?
Real Raw News published an article headlined, "Patricia L. Conrad Arrested: Charges On Dr Fauci NIH Assistant Explained," on March 19.
The outlet claimed that Conrad was arrested at her home in Bethesda, Maryland, by the U.S. Marines after obtaining a military arrest warrant signed by a "Deputy Judge Advocate General" on March 17,2022.
"Despite her apparent clean slate, the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps said it had acquired indisputable evidence proving Conrad was a major player in Fauci's Covid crimes. Although our source would not presently disclose JAG's evidence, citing ongoing investigations, he said evidence will be made public after JAG decides whether she must face a military tribunal," read the article. "If she helps us get Fauci, she may be shown leniency, but it's too early to tell right now," a source was quoted by the outlet.
Here is the Truth
Debunking the claim, Lead Stories stated that it was not true. In a communique to the outlet, a Pentagon duty officer said that the story was "false." Confirming the same, Kathy Stover, branch chief of News and Science Writing at NIH, added that the information in the article is false and the woman featured in the photo used by the article "is not Dr. Fauci's assistant."
The outlet further revealed that the woman being dubbed as Fauci's NIH assistant in the image used by the article is "Patricia A. Conrad" from the University of California, Davis. The original image was taken during her retirement party.
Despite the claim being a hoax and piece of satire, it was quickly picked up by social media users. "U.S. Marines on Thursday arrested Patricia L. Conrad, special assistant to NIH Director Anthony S. Fauci, at her home in Bethesda, after obtaining a military arrest warrant signed by Deputy Judge Advocate General Christopher C. French," read a tweet.
"I don't know but the Fouch is in hiding, and according to RRN, they just arrested his assistant, Patricia L. Conrad," read another.