Fact Check: Megyn Kelly Did NOT Say She Contracted VAIDS After Getting Vaccinated For COVID-19 -- She Said She Had An 'Autoimmune Issue'

Fact Check

  • by: Ed Payne
Fact Check: Megyn Kelly Did NOT Say She Contracted VAIDS After Getting Vaccinated For COVID-19 -- She Said She Had An 'Autoimmune Issue' Talk Show

Did talk show host and podcaster Megyn Kelly say she "contracted Vaccine Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (VAIDS)" after getting the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine? No, that's not true: On "The Megyn Kelly Show" in early September 2023, she said, "I tested positive for an autoimmune issue at my annual physical." She never mentions VAIDS, which is not a real medical condition.

The claim appeared in an article (archived here) published by The People's Voice on September 7, 2023, titled "Megyn Kelly Says She Contracted VAIDS After Getting Vaccinated." The story opens:

SiriusXM host Megyn Kelly has revealed that she contracted Vaccine Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (VAIDS) as a direct result of taking the mRNA Covid jab.

This is what the post looked like on The People's Voice website at the time of writing:

Megyn Kelly Peoples Voice.png

(Source: The People's Voice screenshot taken on Fri Sep 8 15:22:48 2023 UTC)

The video

Kelly's comments in The People's Voice article came from her show, which airs live on SiriusXM and was posted on YouTube on September 6, 2023, under the title "Legacy Media Constraints, and More COVID Gaslighting, with Bari Weiss, Nellie Bowles & David Zweig." Starting at the 48:57 mark, she said:

I regret getting the vaccine, even though I am a 52-year-old woman, because I don't think I needed it. I think I would have been fine. I've got COVID many times, and it was well past when the vaccine was doing what it was supposed to be doing.

And then, for the first time, I tested positive for an autoimmune issue at my annual physical. And I went to the best rheumatologist in New York, and I asked her, 'Do you think this could have to do with the fact that I got the damn booster and then got COVID within three weeks?' And she said, 'Yes. Yes.' I wasn't the only one she'd seen that with.

Kelly doesn't describe which "autoimmune issue" she was diagnosed with. The Johns Hopkins Medicine website says common autoimmune diseases in women include:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis, a form of arthritis that attacks the joints
  • Psoriasis, a condition marked by thick, scaly patches of skin
  • Psoriatic arthritis, a type of arthritis affecting some people with psoriasis
  • Lupus, a disease that damages areas of the body that include joints, skin and organs
  • Thyroid diseases, including Graves' disease, where the body makes too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism), and Hashimoto's thyroiditis, where it doesn't make enough (hypothyroidism) of the hormone
  • Type 1 diabetes, a condition in which the immune system damages the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas

However, nowhere during the hour-and-40-minute-long show does Kelly mention VAIDS.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

In a September 8, 2023, email to Lead Stories, CDC press officer Scott Pauley provided the agency's response to the claim made on The People's Voice website. It said, "Vaccine Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome is not a known medical condition." It continued:

Further, CDC has found no unusual or unexpected patterns of autoimmune disorders or immunodeficiency linked to COVID-19 vaccination by our vaccine safety monitoring systems, after more than 676 million doses administered, with 81% of the US population receiving at least one dose, and with the most intensive safety monitoring in US history.

The People's Voice

The People's Voice has a long history of publishing false stories. It describes itself as a resource "comprised of various web pages operated by Fact Checked Limited."

As of this writing, its website contains a liability disclaimer that says:

FACT CHECKED LIMITED AND/OR ITS SUPPLIERS MAKE NO REPRESENTATIONS ABOUT THE SUITABILITY, RELIABILITY, AVAILABILITY, TIMELINESS, AND ACCURACY OF THE INFORMATION, SOFTWARE, PRODUCTS, SERVICES AND RELATED GRAPHICS CONTAINED ON THE SITE FOR ANY PURPOSE. TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW, ALL SUCH INFORMATION, SOFTWARE, PRODUCTS, SERVICES AND RELATED GRAPHICS ARE PROVIDED 'AS IS' WITHOUT WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF ANY KIND.

It started as YourNewsWire in 2014 and rebranded as NewsPunch in 2017. NewsPunch has published numerous fake news articles, so anything it publishes should be taken with a large grain of salt. Its Facebook page, "The People's Voice", lost its verification checkmark, according to a 2018 report from Media Matters For America.

Read more

Additional Lead Stories fact checks of claims related to VAIDS can be found here.

Other Lead Stories fact checks of claims related to vaccines can be found 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.


  Ed Payne

Ed Payne is a staff writer at Lead Stories. He is an Emmy Award-winning journalist as part of CNN’s coverage of 9/11. Ed worked at CNN for nearly 24 years with the CNN Radio Network and CNN Digital. Most recently, he was a Digital Senior Producer for Gray Television’s Digital Content Center, the company’s digital news hub for 100+ TV stations. Ed also worked as a writer and editor for WebMD. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, Ed is the author of two children’s book series: “The Daily Rounds of a Hound” and “Vail’s Tales.” 

Read more about or contact Ed Payne

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