An image shared on Facebook claims South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said President Donald Trump “probably knows more about medicine and specifically viruses” than the “so-called scientists at the NIH and CDC.”
There is no record of Graham ever making the comment. It originated in a tweet from a user that has shared fake quotes in the past.
The tweet that appears to have started the claim has been deleted, but screen grabs of it continue to circulate on other social media platforms. (RELATED: Did Trump Call The Coronavirus A ‘Hoax’ At His South Carolina Rally)
“CAPITOL HILL: @LindseyGrahamSC says @realDonaldTrump ‘probably knows more about medicine and specifically viruses than any of the so-called scientists at the NIH and CDC. If anyone is going to eradicate this plague it’ll be the president,’” the screen grabbed tweet quotes Graham as saying.
Graham did release a statement Feb. 26 praising the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak. However, at no point did he suggest the president knows more than experts at the National Institutes of Health or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“President Trump’s decision to put Vice President Pence in charge of our nation’s efforts to contain the coronavirus is an excellent idea,” reads the statement. “And I have all the confidence in the world that the Vice President and his team will do everything in their power to contain this deadly virus.”
Dan Lyons, who describes himself as the “inventor of fake news” in his Twitter bio, tweeted the fabricated quote the same day Graham released that statement. He has shared fake quotes in the past, according to Snopes.
Multiple Twitter users, including Princeton University history professor Kevin Kruse, called out Lyons for the fake quote attributed to Graham.
This is fake. Stop retweeting this account please. pic.twitter.com/9PEGwRimAV
— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) March 2, 2020
“This is fake,” Kruse tweeted. “Stop retweeting this account please.”