Did the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) switch flu vaccinations with HIV samples, infecting millions of children with AIDS by accident? No, that's not true. The rumor was launched by satire website The Onion as a joke, it is not real.
ATLANTA--Informing the more than 150 million Americans affected by the error that the mistake was "totally our bad," embarrassed officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday that they had accidentally switched all 2018 flu shots with samples of HIV. "Oh, god, we really and truly screwed the pooch on this one. We wish to say we're deeply sorry, especially to the 59.1 percent of children in the U.S. who received what they had every right to expect were influenza vaccines this fall.
The official CDC website makes no mention of this "news" and nor do any other reputable news outlets. That is totally logical because The Onion is one of the oldest and best known satire websites on the internet. Their about page claims:
The Onion is the world's leading news publication, offering highly acclaimed, universally revered coverage of breaking national, international, and local news events. Rising from its humble beginnings as a print newspaper in 1756, The Onion now enjoys a daily readership of 4.3 trillion and has grown into the single most powerful and influential organization in human history.
In addition to maintaining a towering standard of excellence to which the rest of the industry aspires, The Onion supports more than 350,000 full- and part-time journalism jobs in its numerous news bureaus and manual labor camps stationed around the world, and members of its editorial board have served with distinction in an advisory capacity for such nations as China, Syria, Somalia, and the former Soviet Union. On top of its journalistic pursuits, The Onion also owns and operates the majority of the world's transoceanic shipping lanes, stands on the nation's leading edge on matters of deforestation and strip mining, and proudly conducts tests on millions of animals daily.
If you somehow find that hard to believe: you are right. Scroll down a bit futher on that page and you'll find this:
What if I want to sue The Onion?
Please do not do that. The First Amendment protects satire as a form of free speech and expression. The Onion uses invented names in all of its stories, except in cases where public figures are being satirized. Any other use of real names is accidental and coincidental. The Onion is not intended for readers under 18 years of age.
Articles from The Onion are frequently mistaken for real news by people on social media that only see the headline, short description and thumbnail image. Being one of the best known satire sites their articles also frequently get copied by "real" fake news sites that don't carry a satire disclaimer. Always Google before sharing something that sounds improbable!
We wrote about theonion.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:
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- Fake News: Taylor Swift Did NOT Break Political Silence To Throw Support Behind Restoring ShÅgun To Throne Of Japan
- Fake News: Machine Gun Kelly Did NOT Release New M&M Diss Track Stating That He Prefers Skittles
- Fake News: Wallace Shawn NOT Frontrunner To Replace Daniel Craig As James Bond
- Fake News: 'Breitbart' NOT Refusing To Release Names Of Mass Shooting Victims To Prevent Them From Getting Attention