YouTuber Misrepresents Details of Case to Push Anti-COVID Vaccine Narrative
The anchor in the video makes several false and misleading claims about COVID-19 vaccination.
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The video of a woman misrepresenting the details of a legal case to push an anti-COVID-19 vaccine narrative has gone viral on social media. The viral video, which was first posted by a YouTube channel called "Tanya Cure by Nature" on 29 August, has gone viral on WhatsApp and Telegram.
We found that the anchor in the viral video incorrectly posted the points mentioned in the petition of a sub-judice matter as a judgment passed by a Mumbai sessions court. The anchor makes other false claims regarding the Supreme Court of India and also incorrectly states that "70-80 percent Indians were immune to COVID-19".
The title of the viral video said, "अब किसी पर जबर्दस्ती टीका लगाना अपराध है 5 करोड का जुर्माना होगा". [Translation: Now it is a crime to forcibly vaccinate someone, there will be a fine of Rs 5 crores.]
The host, who goes by the name Tanya, reports on the status of an ongoing case in Mumbai Sessions Court. She talks about a case filed by advocate Nilesh Ojha on behalf of his client who was allegedly forcibly vaccinated by the jail authorities in Mumbai.
While talking about the case, she says that the judgment had been passed in the favour of Ojha and his client and claims that others who are not in favour of taking the vaccine can use this judgment to claim a compensation of Rs 5 Crore.
She then goes on to say that the Supreme Court of India had said that there was no proof that the COVID-19 vaccine is completely effective.
She also claims: "About 70-80 percent of the country's population is already immune."
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
In order to check the claims made by the person, we checked Tanya Cure by Nature's YouTube channel and found that it carried content from known anti-vaxxers like Dr Biswaroop Roy Chowdhury and Dr Tarun Kothari, both of whom have been called out for spreading misinformation around COVID-19 and its vaccines.
We then went to the link provided by her in the description section of her YouTube video, which lead to a blogpost on Ojha's website published on 25 August.
After going through the blogpost, we found that that the claims made by Tanya in the video were not true. The blogpost carried the order passed by the Mumbai sessions court, in which it had sought a response from Mumbai police on the petition filed by Ojha.
We found that the anchor took the points mentioned in the petition filed by Ojha and falsely presented them as the judgment passed by the court.
The claims made by Tanya about the case were an attempt to misrepresent the details of the matter to push an anti-vaccination narrative. The headline of the YouTube video, too, was misleading as the court had not passed any judgment in the matter.
Tanya hosted Ojha in a subsequent video where he explains the details of the case.
We conducted a keyword search and found that Ojha has been involved with an anti-vaccination organisation called Awaken India Movement. The group has shared several false claims and conspiracy theories about the COVID-19/vaccine.
it is clear that the details of the case presented by Tanya in the viral video were not correct. The case is sub-judice and the hearing for the same was still pending.
CLAIM 2: SUPREME COURT HAS SAID COVID-19 VACCINE IS NOT EFFECTIVE
After talking about the case, Tanya goes on to claim that the Supreme Court of India (SC) has said that the COVID-19 vaccine is not effective and hence, people can choose not take the second dose.
Contrary to the claim, the SC had in August refrained from passing any interim order on vaccine mandates while hearing a PIL filed by Jacob Puliyel, a former member of the National Technical Advisory Group on immunization.
Puliyel, through the PIL, had sought information on the clinical trial data of the COVID-19 vaccines and wanted a stay on "vaccine mandates".
The court issued a notice the Centre and others on 9 August and asked them to respond to it within four weeks.
“We will decide if the right to life as compared to public health gains prominence. …We cannot take the responsibility of passing any orders at this stage. Let us hear Centre first,” the court said, according The Indian Express.
The SC bench in its observation said that according to the World Health Organization (WHO), nobody will be safe unless everybody is vaccinated. Launching an investigation into the matter would increased doubts in the minds of people, it added.
The Manipur High Court, however, passed an order on 15 July stating that it was illegal to link the COVID-19 vaccination status of individuals with their employment.
As stated by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, COVID-19 vaccination is completely voluntary, however, several governmental and non-government institutions across India have asked their employees to be fully vaccinated to be able to return to work.
CLAIM 3: '70-80 PERCENT INDIANS ARE IMMUNE TO COVID-19
It is also not true that 70-80 percent of India's population is immune to COVID-19.
As per the latest national serosurvey conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), 67.6 percent of India's population had antibodies.
(This story has been published as a part of The Quint’s COVID-19 fact-check project targeting rural women. It was flagged to us by our partner organisation Video Volunteers.)
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