In the realm of social media, misinformation can spread like wildfire, and the latest victim is a manipulated video featuring Vice President Kamala Harris. The deceptive content alleges that Harris made a startling statement about COVID-19 vaccines, specifically claiming that most hospitalized and recently deceased individuals were vaccinated. However, a thorough fact-check reveals that this video is a prime example of manipulated content, commonly known as a deepfake.
The False Claim: Harris Contradicting Vaccine Data
The video in question, which garnered over 2 million views on TikTok, implies that Vice President Kamala Harris contradicted established vaccine data. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report published on September 10, unvaccinated individuals are over ten times more likely to be hospitalized or succumb to COVID-19 compared to their vaccinated counterparts. However, the manipulated video suggests Harris stating the opposite, causing confusion and concern.
Unraveling the Manipulation: The Deepfake Exposed
Upon closer examination, it becomes evident that the video is a carefully edited deepfake. The footage was extracted from Harris’s speech at a vaccine mobilization event in Detroit on July 12. The manipulation involved removing the first syllable of the word “unvaccinated” to create the false narrative that she was referring to vaccinated individuals.
The Actual Speech vs. Manipulated Clip
The authentic speech, verified through multiple sources, reveals that Harris emphasized the prevalence of unvaccinated individuals among those hospitalized or deceased due to COVID-19. The manipulated video deliberately altered her statement to mislead viewers. A detailed analysis shows a clear cut in the video precisely where the edit was made, confirming the deceptive nature of the content.
Facts Support Harris’s Original Statement
At the time of Harris’s address in Detroit, data analysis by the Associated Press indicated that over 99% of Americans hospitalized or deceased from COVID-19 were unvaccinated. This aligns with the CDC’s later report on September 10, which highlighted that more than 90% of hospitalized individuals for COVID-19 were unvaccinated.
Verdict: Altered Video
In light of the evidence and our research, we categorize the video as “Altered.” The deepfake manipulates Harris’s statements, creating a false narrative about the impact of vaccinations on COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths. The authentic speech affirms that Harris correctly conveyed the prevalence of unvaccinated individuals in COVID-19-related hospitalizations and fatalities.
Conclusion: Navigating the Seas of Misinformation
This incident serves as a stark reminder of the challenges posed by manipulated content in the digital age. As consumers of information, it is crucial to approach viral videos with a discerning eye, especially when the narrative seems contrary to established facts. Fact-checking remains an essential tool in combating the spread of misinformation, ensuring that accurate information prevails.