Fact Check: Soldiers Are NOT On Streets Of Philly, NOT Hauling Off COVID-19 Patients To FEMA Camps

Hoax Alert

  • by: Alan Duke

Does a video of military troops walking on a sidewalk show U.S. soldiers on a Philadelphia street preparing to invoke martial law on the city and round up citizens to be "hauled off to FEMA camps" because of the coronavirus crisis? No, that's not true: Although Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf did issue a disaster declaration last week, a Pennsylvania National Guard spokesman pointed out that the camouflage pattern on the uniforms was outdated. Moreover, the troops appeared to be in a "classic road march" - which is rarely done in real missions.

No troops had been activated in Philadelphia as of March 14, 2020, the spokesman said.

The claim originated in a post (archived here) published on Instagram on March 13, 2020, with the text introduction reading:

Oh well fuk it.. So here's a Theory of Mine Yerme.. BTW why are Soldiers on the Streets in Philly.. Someone DMd me this video this morning.. So y'all know how we always hea about Martial Law and how we're all gonna be hauled off to FEMA Camps.. BUT the foreign troops were always the narrative to dew the job because ppl always said the US troops would find it harder slaughtering US Citizens.. This Coronavirus changes the average active military persons mind around.. You're no longer looked at as a Citizen but now as a virus.. The government now can subject the military to dew anything and the soldiers now won't bat an eye because they believe you may be infected.. For them to Stop March Madness & the NBA means shyt is realer than we thought at first Yerme.. And now that these hands have been played.. My Mind goes to the extreme of worst possibilities.. That way anything less Issa cake walk Yerme.. This shyt got me thinking..

Screenshot of https://www.instagram.com/p/B9ovlEEj77K/

This is what socia media users saw:

View this post on Instagram

Oh well fuk it.. So here's a Theory of Mine Yerme.. BTW why are Soldiers on the Streets in Philly.. Someone DMd me this video this morning.. So y'all know how we always hea about Martial Law and how we're all gonna be hauled off to FEMA Camps.. BUT the foreign troops were always the narrative to dew the job because ppl always said the US troops would find it harder slaughtering US Citizens.. This Coronavirus changes the average active military persons mind around.. You're no longer looked at as a Citizen but now as a virus.. The government now can subject the military to dew anything and the soldiers now won't bat an eye because they believe you may be infected.. For them to Stop March Madness & the NBA means shyt is realer than we thought at first Yerme.. And now that these hands have been played.. My Mind goes to the extreme of worst possibilities.. That way anything less Issa cake walk Yerme.. This shyt got me thinking..

A post shared by Conscious Godfather of IG (@raspy_rawls) on

While the lives of many Americans has been disrupted by the spread of COVID-19, communities are not seeing soldiers marching through the streets in preparation for a big round-up of virus carriers to "haul them off to FEMA camps." And Wolf's disaster declaration did not hint that this was the case - but rather, the declaration was to aid state agencies dealing with the coronavirus response.

Lead Stories asked the Pennsylvania National Guard to examine this viral video claim. Lt. Col. Keith Hickox, the state public affairs officer, replied:

The quality of the video makes it very difficult to tell exactly who these Soldiers may belong to but the uniforms contain the outdated ASU pattern which makes me think this is not a recent video of any Army unit.

Additionally, this appears to be a classic "road march" which is done with heavy packs as a form of exercise. As that, it could be a local Guard, reserve or ROTC unit. This form of movement is rarely practiced in any sort of real mission, especially domestically.

Last but certainly not least, I can confirm that there have been no PA National Guard Soldiers activated in Philadelphia this past week in response to the virus or any other domestic response.

In conclusion, even if the video is a recent video, the information written in this post is completely fabricated.

A state governor or the sitting president could activate National Guard troops, with orders to deploy throughout the states. But it has not happened in Pennsylvania as of March 14, 2020.

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  Alan Duke

Editor-in-Chief Alan Duke co-founded Lead Stories after ending a 26-year career with CNN, where he mainly covered entertainment, current affairs and politics. Duke closely covered domestic terrorism cases for CNN, including the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, the UNABOMBER and search for Southeast bomber Eric Robert Rudolph. CNN moved Duke to Los Angeles in 2009 to cover the entertainment beat. Duke also co-hosted a daily podcast with former HLN host Nancy Grace, "Crime Stories with Nancy Grace" and hosted the podcast series "Stan Lee's World: His Real Life Battle with Heroes & Villains." You'll also see Duke in many news documentaries, including on the Reelz channel, CNN and HLN.

Read more about or contact Alan Duke

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