Top Florida RNC official calls the COVID-19 vaccine a 'mark of the beast' and a 'false god,' report says
- A top Florida
RNCofficial spread conspiracy theories about the coronavirus vaccineon his blog. CNNreported that Peter Feaman called the vaccine a "mark of the beast" and a "false god."
- Religious-themed conspiracy theories about the vaccine have been circulating online.
The official, Peter Feaman, is a lawyer who's represented Florida in the governing body of the RNC since 2012, CNN reported.
In one comment on his blog, "The Backhoe Chronicles," published in a private group on the social media platform MeWe, Feaman attacked Michigan's Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
"Diabolical Michigan Governor Whiter wants her citizens to get the Mark of the Beast to participate in society," he wrote in May, invoking a biblical reference to describe the vaccine as a mark of Satan.
"Hey Whitmer, we will not bow to your false god," he added, per CNN.
In July, Feaman also baselessly said that federal government officials would be coming to people's homes to ask for their vaccination status.
"The Biden brown shirts are beginning to show up at private homes questioning vaccine papers," he wrote, comparing the government to Nazis.
Feaman did not respond to CNN's multiple requests for comment. He told Insider in a statement that the CNN report is "fake
"The report is fake news taken out of context and casting me in a false light," he said in an emailed statement. "I am consulting with legal counsel as to the next steps."
Conspiracy theories about the
Social media platforms like Facebook have expressed commitments to remove anti-vaccine content to help get the pandemic under control. However, Facebook is not able to track exactly how much misinformation exists on its site and how much reaches its users.
A Washington Post report in February noted that religious-themed conspiracy theories about the vaccine make up some of the hardest misinformation to police. Experts told the outlet that removing such content is difficult because users may feel targeted based on what they describe is their religious beliefs.
The CNN report also comes as Florida faces a significant surge in coronavirus cases. On Monday, the state reported an average of 15,818 new infections, a 144% increase over the past two weeks, according to The New York Times. Roughly 59% of adults in the state are fully vaccinated.
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