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Fact-checking the false but viral story about F-22 pilots resigning after a vaccination text from the secretary of defense

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In a video monologue that has been viewed more than 1.1 million times on Twitter, a bodybuilder named Justin Y. O’Donnell claimed that “my dad just let me know” that the secretary of defense had sent a nighttime text message to all active members of the military demanding that they get a Covid-19 vaccination by 10 a.m. the next day or face a court martial.

After receiving this text, O’Donnell claimed, “Twelve F-22 pilots, the most highly trained pilots in the world, walked off the job.” He added that “16 crew members for B-52 bombers walked off the job.”

“To date, no pilots from the 1st Fighter Wing have resigned their commission due to the COVID-19 vaccination mandate,” said a spokesperson for Joint Base Langley-Eustis, according to Reuters, while a spokesperson for Barksdale Air Force Base called the viral story “misinformation” and “completely false,” Reuters reported.

Nonsense from a misinformation website

This nonsense originated with a September 1…

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