Fact Check: Greg Evensen's 'Heads Up Oklahoma' Posted By Johnnie Cheadle Is NOT About 2020 Coronavirus

Fact Check

  • by: Gita Smith
Fact Check: Greg Evensen's 'Heads Up Oklahoma' Posted By Johnnie Cheadle Is NOT About 2020 Coronavirus 2009 Video

Are Oklahoma police planning to set up roadblocks to enforce a mandatory Covid-19 vaccination law and slap micro-chipped bracelets on people? No, this is not true: A video featuring conspiracy blogger Greg Evensen is from a 2009 speech in which he predicted forced vaccinations for the H1N1 swine flu, not 2020's novel coronavirus. Those roadblocks never materialized, but the video found new life to support warnings they would come in 2020.

The claim appeared as a post (archived here) published on Facebook in March 2020, introduced with the message "People need to listen....and be safe." The words "Heads Up Oklahoma" were superimposed over the video. The video opened with a discussion of Evensen's claim citizens would be forced to wear micro-chipped tracking bracelets, which led to his claim that anyone who did not get a vaccination would be taken into police custody:

The state of Oklahoma last week passed through its House a law, in the state of Oklahoma everyone will be vaccinated... you will not be able to freely travel without proof that you've had the vaccination

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Facebook screenshot

The 2009 video continued with Evensen detailing a sinister government plan to force vaccinations:

I have been told by state troopers across the country there will be roadblocks... people [will have to] prove by papers that they've been inoculated... a nurse told me she has seen a semi tractor-trailer pull up and unload scores of cases of metal bracelets... on top is a chip that will contain all kinds of information about you.

Evensen's threatening predictions about bracelets, roadblocks, chips and mandatory vaccinations take a dark turn. Standing in front of a sign that reads 'No King but Jesus,' he tells an audience that they will have:

... a choice between slow homicide or slow suicide. You choose the poison: They're either gonna kill you with the injection or you go up and say sure, I just want be able to go where I want to go and take it, and that's suicide.

Mandatory vaccinations and roadblocks to enforce them never happened in 2009 and there are no orders for that in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Oklahoma Department of Public Health epidemiologist Ozair Naqvi told Lead Stories that his health department and private doctors made swine flu vaccines available to the public, as did all other states. But never were they mandatory.

There were no laws for the H1N1, or any other strain. It was never the government's policy to force people, and no metal bracelets were ever clapped on residents' wrists. That never occurred.

Evensen could not have been talking about the current COVID-19 virus since Evensen died in 2018, well before the novel coronavirus emerged.

Evensen's conspiracy myths played to people who feared getting a shot more than a H1N1 virus that killed up to 203,000 people worldwide.

He wrote on his blog, on July 29, 2009:

Have you been made aware of the massive roadblock plans to stop all travelers for a vaccine bracelet (stainless steel band with a micro-chip on board) that will force you to take the shot? Refuse it? You will be placed on a prison bus and taken to a quarantine camp. What will you do when your children are NOT allowed into school without the shot? What will you do when you are not allowed into the workplace without the vaccine paperwork? Buy groceries? Go to the bank? Shop anywhere?? Get on a plane, bus or train? Use the toilet in the mall? Nope. Police officers will become loathed, feared, despised and remembered for their 'official' duties.

The blog Beyond The Curtain reported in 2009 that Evensen eventually retracted his statement about forced vaccine and prison camps. The blog cited this quote from Evensen's website The Heartland USA, which is no longer online:

After exhaustive investigation, it appears that the information that I reported regarding Oklahoma's "Mandated Vaccine Program", was not entirely accurate. We were in error! We are deeply sorry and regret that our statement did not reflect an official act. However, it has been suggested by officials that our position on the matter brought enough pressure on other States, not to enact laws that would force inoculations, period. This may be true, however; it was not our plan to do such.

An InfoWars blog entry from conspiracy myth promoter Alex Jones published on Sept.17, 2009 also repeated Evensen's vaccination rumor, proving it is 11 years old.

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Lead Stories is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers who are fighting misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the alliance here.

  Gita Smith

Gita Smith covered news for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Montgomery Advertiser, and she wrote/edited medical newsletters for American Health Consultants at the dawn of the AIDS epidemic when clear, factual information was as needed. 

For a time, she taught in Auburn University’s journalism department and ran the History-Geography lab at Alabama State University, where she taught students to write research papers . She believes the following to be true: The power of the free press may appear to be a weak reed to lean on, but it separates democracies from juntas.

Read more about or contact Gita Smith

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