Monday, January 17, 2022
Monday, January 17, 2022
HomeFact CheckViralViral Message On Omicron Attributed To Kiran Mazumdar Shaw widely Shared Out...

Viral Message On Omicron Attributed To Kiran Mazumdar Shaw widely Shared Out Of Context

A WhatsApp message, attributed to notes taken by Biocon Chairperson Kiran Mazumdar Shaw during a lecture by Dr Edward Ryan of Massachusetts General Hospital is going viral on WhatsApp. The “notes” suggest that Omicron would peak by January 21, & that we are fighting the ‘last war with COVID’.

WhatsApp post claiming to be notes from kiran Mazumdar shaw

Newschecker received the claim on our WhatsApp tipline (+91 9999499044) to be fact checked. We also found several such posts on social media.

Fact check/verification

To check the authenticity of the claim, Newschecker conducted a keyword search using the words Dr Edward Ryan and ‘talk on Omicron’ on Google and found a Reddit thread, where users had posted the same content of the message, word-to-word, wondering if it was true. These messages have been posted by those predominantly in the United States and do not attribute the content to Kiran Mazumdar Shaw.

On further research, we also found the  same post on a Chinese website, confirming that the message was viral in other countries before it reached India.

Newschecker also came up on a press release issued by the Massachusetts General Hospital that revealed the message lacked context. “We are aware of COVID-19 information circulating online evidently reflecting an individual’s personal notes from listening to a talk by Edward Ryan, MD, director of Global Infectious Diseases at MGH. These notes lack context, details, and nuance. For instance, the role that vaccines play in mitigating severe disease or death was not included, and individuals with comorbid conditions should continue to take extra precautions to minimize contracting COVID irrelevant of age,” the statement by the hospital read. The statement, however, did not give more details on the talk.

We also contacted Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, who confirmed that she was not the one who took the alleged notes. 

“I did not take these notes. I just received the message on WhatsApp and I forwarded the message. People are assuming that I took these notes, which is not true,” Kiran Mazumdar Shaw said.

Also read: Did WHO Chief Confess That Booster Doses ‘Kill Children’? No, Viral Video Shared Without Context

Conclusion

The viral message which claims that Omicron would peak by January 21, & that we are fighting the ‘last war with COVID’ has been falsely attributed to notes taken by Kiran Mazumdar Shaw. The claims in the message have been shared out of context and hence, are partly false.

Result: Misplaced context/Partly false

Sources

Massachusetts General Hospital

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw


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Pankaj Menon
Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.
Pankaj Menon
Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

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