PolitiFact – FEMA’s emergency alert test won’t activate graphene oxide in people

An Instagram post warns that a planned Oct. 4 test of the Emergency Alert System is really a ploy to activate materials that had been injected into billions of people.

It’s being “disguised as a test,” said a man in a Sept. 18 Instagram video, but will be used to “send a specific high-frequency signal through devices like smartphones, radios and TVs with the intention of activating graphene oxide and other nanoparticles that have been inserted into billions of human beings around the world through obvious mediums.”

“Everyone will be affected, regardless of your status,” said the man, who urged people to turn off their devices for a two-hour time window that day to protect themselves.

This post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

The original Instagram post was removed before this story was published, but we found other social media posts making the same claim.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission, said in August that it will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts at 2:20 p.m. EST Oct. 4.

There’s no evidence the test is a plot to harm Americans. In fact, the test is required by law every three years to ensure people can be properly informed about a national emergency. 

Though he does not specifically mention COVID-19 vaccines, the man in the video appears to be referring to a conspiracy theory that the vaccines contain graphene oxide. 

A high-frequency signal couldn’t activate the vaccine’s actual ingredients, which an expert told us are short-lived in humans.

This will be the seventh nationwide emergency alert test and the second national wireless emergency alert test. The most recent national test was in 2021.

The emergency alert tests will interrupt TV and radio programs with a minute-long message saying that it’s “only a test.” Text messagelike wireless emergency alerts, accompanied by a unique ringtone and vibration, will be sent to cellphones. 

Conspiracy theories have claimed that COVID-19 vaccines contain graphene oxide — a material used in biotechnology and other fields — and nanoparticles that can be used to track vaccine recipients.

The Pfizer and Moderna mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, the two most widely used vaccines in the U.S., do not have graphene oxide as an ingredient, PolitiFact has reported before. Nor do the Novavax and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The COVID-19 mRNA vaccines contain lipid nanoparticles. Multiple false claims have alleged nanoparticles are like microchips and used to track vaccinated people with 5G networks. The term “nano” refers only to size; it has nothing to do with 5G technology or tracking.

Pfizer describes the lipid nanoparticles in its vaccines as “tiny protective bubbles of fat” that deliver the fragile RNA molecules to vaccine recipients’ cells.

Rebecca DuBois, a University of California, Santa Cruz biomolecular engineering professor, said the scenario described in the Instagram video is impossible, first because the COVID-19 vaccines don’t contain graphene oxide, and second because the vaccine ingredients don’t remain in a person’s body for very long.

“There is no mechanism by which a high radio frequency signal could activate something from the COVID vaccine, or any other vaccine for that matter,” DuBois said. “MRNA and other ingredients in COVID vaccines are short-lived, on the order of a few days. This is just long enough to stimulate a person’s immune system, which then provides long-lived protection from COVID.” 

Our ruling

An Instagram video claims a test of the nation’s emergency broadcast systems will send a high-frequency signal that will activate graphene oxide in people. 

It appears to be a reference to a conspiracy theory that COVID-19 vaccines contain graphene oxide; they do not. Also, there is no mechanism by which a high-frequency signal could activate the vaccine’s ingredients. 

We rate this claim Pants on Fire!

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