Did Dr. Peter McCullough, a cardiologist who has repeatedly made anti-COVID-19 vaccine statements, officially appear before the European Parliament and call for a "total recall" of COVID vaccines on September 13, 2023? No, that's not true: McCullough was reportedly at an event that was held in a parliamentary building but on a day when no official committee meetings were scheduled. The event appears to have taken place before a much smaller audience than the entire 705-member Parliament.
The claim appeared in a post (archived here) on Instagram on September 17, 2023, on McCullough's official account. The post included a video of McCullough calling for a recall of COVID vaccines and boosters at an event. It was captioned:
Dr McCullough calling for a TOTAL RECALL! European Parliament September 13, 2023.
This is how the post looked on Instagram at the time of writing:
No official European Parliament hearings, workshops on September 13, 2023
The European Union is governed in part by the European Parliament. According to the European Parliament's website, there were no official hearings (archived here) held on September 13, 2023, by any of the legislative body's committees. At the time of writing, the last one was held in July 2023. The website explains the purpose of a hearing as follows:
A committee is permitted to organise a hearing with experts, where this is considered essential to its work on a particular subject. Hearings can also be held jointly by two or more committees. Most committees organise regular hearings, as they allow them to hear from experts and hold discussions on the key issues.
Neither were there any workshops or other outside events hosted by the European Parliament as a whole legislative body, much less any that featured McCullough, on September 13, 2023. According to the parliament's weekly agenda, there were no events planned on September 13, 2023, (archived here) that involved McCullough.
So, contrary to what the post on Instagram suggests, McCullough was not called on by a parliamentary committee to serve as an expert during an official European Parliament hearing, workshop or other event.
Gatherings in European Parliament rooms are not the same as European Parliament hearings
Adrian Wong, an independent fact checker who posts on the blog Tech ARP, found that on September 13, 2023, McCullough actually spoke (archived here) at a two-hour gathering billed "Health and Democracy Under WHO's New Proposed Rules" (McCullough recounted the gathering on his podcast [archived here]). The gathering involved a few members of the European Parliament -- who, independently, do not represent the body as a whole.
Wong found that the event took place in the Salvador de Madariaga building on the European Parliament's campus in Strasbourg, France, not the Louise Weiss building in Strasbourg, where Parliament's official plenary sessions are held. One of the five "hosting" members of Parliament who seemed to support the gathering, Christine Anderson, posted a flyer (archived here) about the gathering that confirmed this information. This is most likely why the event could be held in a room dedicated for use by members of Parliament.
However, none of this means that the gathering was officially associated with the European Parliament. During this conference, in fact, Parliament was in the midst of holding an unrelated, multiday plenary session (archived here) in the Louise Weiss building that ultimately lasted from September 11 to September 14, 2023. This makes it unclear how involved the "hosting" members of Parliament were in the "Health and Democracy Under WHO's New Proposed Rules" gathering, as they also attended (archived here) the plenary session at the Weiss building.
Lead Stories reached out to the European Parliament for comment on the claim and will update this story with any response.
Dr. Peter McCullough
McCullough is a Texas cardiologist and COVID vaccine skeptic who was formerly associated with Baylor Scott & White Health, which filed for a restraining order (archived here) in September 2021 to prevent him from continuing to use that association. The Dallas-based nonprofit group claims to be the largest health care system (archived here) in Texas with more than 852 clinics and hospitals served by 7,300 physicians.