Fact Check: US Marines Did NOT Arrest WHO Official Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu -- Story Is Made Up

Fact Check

  • by: Kaiyah Clarke
Fact Check: US Marines Did NOT Arrest WHO Official Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu -- Story Is Made Up Pentagon: Nope

Did U.S. Marines arrest World Health Organization official Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu? No, that's not true: A Pentagon duty officer told Lead Stories that this claim is "false." This claim appears in an article on a website that regularly publishes fabricated content often mistaken for real news.

The claim appeared in an article (archived here) where it was published by Real Raw News on December 24, 2023, under the title "Marines Arrest WHO Official." It opened:

United States Marines on Thursday arrested a World Health Organization (WHO) official who was in the U.S. to persuade the criminal Biden regime to adopt new social distancing, vaccination, and mask mandates to combat the alleged surge of the JN.1 Coronavirus strain, a source in General Eric M. Smith's office told Real Raw News.

The culprit, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, Assistant Director-General for the Division of Health Emergency Intelligence and Surveillance Systems, was smoking a cigarette outside the Westin Annapolis hotel in Annapolis, Maryland, when undercover Marines surrounded and informed him that he was being detained as an enemy combatant.

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

Marines arrest WHO official Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu Image.png

(Source: Real Raw News screenshot taken on Wed Dec 27 16:30:43 2023 UTC)

Pentagon duty officers responded to an inquiry from Lead Stories regarding this claim via email on December 27, 2023, writing:

This claim is false.

A Google News search (archived here) using the keywords "Marines" AND "Arrest" AND "WHO" AND "Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu" produced no results that substantiated this claim.

Under the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act, the military does not have the authority to arrest civilians. This act can be voided under certain circumstances explicitly authorized by the U.S. Constitution or Act of Congress. Congress.gov does not show legislation making such an authorization.

Real Raw News

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 "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 declares the site does not stand by the contents of the stories, calling them entertainment. Specifically, it says:

Information on this website is for informational and educational and entertainment purposes. ... 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 are 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.

  Kaiyah Clarke

Kaiyah Clarke is a fact-checker at Lead Stories. She is a graduate of Florida A&M University with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism and is currently pursuing an M.S. in Journalism. When she is not fact-checking or researching counter-narratives in society, she is often found reading a book on the New York Times Bestseller List.

Read more about or contact Kaiyah Clarke

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