Fact Check: FEMA Did NOT Forcibly Vaccinate Autistic Children In NY School -- School, FEMA Denies It

Fact Check

  • by: Marlo Lee
Fact Check: FEMA Did NOT Forcibly Vaccinate Autistic Children In NY School -- School, FEMA Denies It Denies Claims

Did the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) vaccinate autistic children at the Rockland Institute for Special Education (RISE), a special education school in New York, without their parents' consent? No, that's not true: Both RISE and FEMA denied this claim. RISE sent a letter to Real Raw News threatening litigation against them because of this article., and a FEMA spokesperson told Lead Stories the claim was false.

The story originated in an article published by Real Raw News on January 5, 2022, titled "FEMA Forcibly Vaccinates Autistic Children in NY School" (archived here). It opened:

The Rockland Institute for Special Education (RISE), in Spring Valley, New York, caters to 'special needs' children, 165 in all according to the facility's fall 2021 roster, some of whom are between 6-9 years old and have speech impediments preventing them from communicating effectively with other people. On December 23, just prior to the students' winter break, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and nurses recruited from hospitals to serve the criminal government agency, arrived at RISE to forcibly vaccinate kids without their parents' consent.

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

Screen Shot 2022-01-07 at 1.36.24 PM.png

(Source: Real Raw News screenshot taken on Fri Jan 7 18:34:26 2022 UTC)

Lead Stories emailed both FEMA and RISE to ask if this claim was accurate. On January 7, 2022, RISE sent us the letter their attorneys gave to the author of the Real Raw News article, Michael Baxter:

Dear Mr. Baxter:

We represent Rockland Institute for Special Education (RISE).

Our client has read your article concerning FEMA imposed vaccination of students at RISE, which article was posted on the January 6, 2022 Real Raw News website (copy annexed).

Please be advised that our client categorically denies the events you describe occurring at the school. At no time, and in no way, shape or form were any students forcibly vaccinated by FEMA or anyone else. Your unidentified source of information is simply wrong.

Demand is hereby made that you remove the article from the Real Raw News website immediately to avoid litigation.

In an email sent to us on January 7, 2022, FEMA also said the claim was false.

Real Raw News has a long history of publishing false claims in mock news stories, many of them about convictions and executions of various public figures at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. For example, the site reported former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was hanged (she wasn't); former White House Chief of Staff John Podesta was executed (he wasn't); and that "the military" convicted former Attorney General William Barr on charges of treason (it didn't).

The website for Real Raw News includes a disclaimer that warns readers not to take its content too seriously. Specifically, it says:

Information on this website is for informational and educational and entertainment purposes. This website contains humor, parody, and satire. We have included this disclaimer for our protection, on the advice on legal counsel.

Real Raw snip.jpg

(Source: RealRawNews.com screenshot taken Tue Aug 3 16:39:48 UTC 2021)

Lead Stories has covered claims published by Real Raw News in the past. Previous Lead Stories debunks of Real Raw News items is collected here.

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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.

Marlo Lee is a fact checker at Lead Stories. She is a graduate of Howard University with a B.S. in Biology. Her interest in fact checking started in college, when she realized how important it became in American politics. She lives in Maryland.

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