Fact Check: Quote condemning vaccine hesitancy falsely attributed to French President Macron

·3 min read

The claim: A quote about those who refuse COVID-19 vaccinations came from the French president

In early July, French President Emmanuel Macron announced new guidelines to fight the rising number of COVID-19 delta variant infections.

The newly introduced "health pass," required to enter public venues and events, includes either a QR code proving full vaccination, a negative COVID-19 test less than two days old, or proof of recovery from the coronavirus in the last six months.

The measure was done in hopes of boosting vaccinations among those who remain hesitant.

Widely shared posts include accurate information about the new strategy announced by Macron’s government, but in some versions there is a quote wrongly attributed to the French president.

"French President Macron on vaccination requirements: I no longer have any intention of sacrificing my life, my time, my freedom and the adolescence of my daughters, as well as their right to study properly, for those who refuse to be vaccinated," reads a July 21 post. "This time you stay at home, not us."

Several of the most widespread versions of this claim accumulated more than 3,000 likes and about 1,000 shares. USA TODAY reached out to the user for comment.

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But the quote in question didn't come from Macron.

Comment was posted by an Italian journalist

In a series of tweets, Italian journalist Selvaggia Lucarelli confirmed the quote is hers, according to translations from Italian to English by Google Translate. In one tweet she linked to the Facebook post where she wrote the comment. In her July 13 post, however, she refers to her son and not "daughters," as the posts have fabricated.

USA TODAY reached out to Lucarelli for comment.

In an earlier fact-check, Reuters found the quote falsely attributed to Macron as far back as July 18.

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Another piece of evidence that the quotation is not Macron's is that the French president doesn't have any biological children. Macron's wife, Brigitte Macron, has three adult children – two girls and a boy – from a prior marriage.

Our rating: False

The claim that Macron is the source of a quote about those who refuse COVID-19 vaccinations is FALSE, based on our research. The statement came from an Italian journalist, who confirmed she is the originator.

Our fact-check sources:

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact Check: Quote on vaccines falsely attributed to Macron

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