A post that has gone viral on social media claims that former US President Barack Obama has urged Africans to reject any Covid-19 vaccines that come from the West.
The post says: “Barack Obama is asking Africans not to accept the vaccines that will come from America and Europe…
Barack Obama: I’ll be an accomplice if I don’t denounce this evil act white people want to do to Africans, first of all I was born in America but I’m African blood, I’m not going to allow white people to kill Africans with their toxic vaccines, I ask Africans to be smart, and to ensure that coronavirus vaccines do not enter African territories, there is a Machiavellian plan they invent, saying we come to help Africans, or that they will come to kill you, I will let this message be shared everywhere, to awaken African minds so that the vaccines do not arrive in Africa.”
This is false. Obama has not made any such statement.
The post, circulated on WhatsApp and other platforms, has a link to an Instagram post on the account “joelwewotshowadive”. The linked Instagram post does not carry any comments made by Obama, but only has his picture. A reverse image search of the picture used on the post, of a tearful Obama, was actually taken in 2016 when Obama made a speech on gun violence.
There is no record of Obama making any comment against vaccines in Africa. No such posts appear on any of his social media platforms. There is no media coverage of any such comments.
On his verified Twitter account, Obama has in fact urged people to follow scientific guidelines on preventing coronavirus infections.
In a tweet on March 4, 2020, he says: “Protect yourself and your community from coronavirus with common sense precautions: wash your hands, stay home when sick and listen to the @CDCgov and local health authorities. Save the masks for health care workers. Let’s stay calm, listen to the experts, and follow the science.”
There are currently no vaccines against coronavirus. On March 20, 2020, the World Health Organisation stated that there are 44 Covid-19 vaccine candidates. However, scientists say it will take around at least 18 months for a vaccine to be developed, approved and ready.
The post saying Obama has urged Africans to reject Western vaccines is fake. He has made no such comments.