False posts that suggest Boris Johnson didn’t have Covid-19 are based on a blog post now labelled as satire
15th Apr 2020
The Prime Minister may not have had Covid-19 and when he was admitted to hospital staff were asked to sign the Official Secrets Act and two who refused were dismissed.
This is incorrect. It is based on a satirical blog post.
Readers have asked us to investigate claims circulating on Facebook that the medical team at St Thomas’ Hospital had to sign the Official Secrets Act before treating the Prime Minister for Covid-19, and suggestions he did not in fact have Covid-19. These Facebook posts have been shared hundreds of times. It was also widely discussed on Twitter.
The claims in the posts come from a blog post originally published by the Dorset Eye which describes itself as “an independent not for profit news website”. That blog post now says that “this article may well be satire” and apologises to anyone who believed it to be factual.
However when it was first published on 12 April it did not include any mention of the fact it was satirical, nor is the Dorset Eye a known satirical site. The first mention of satire was added later that same day.
Readers who sent the Facebook posts to us, as well as a number of Facebook users who commented on the posts seem to have believed the contents to be intended as fact.
One clue that it is not real is in the names of the two doctors mentioned in the post, presumably those who supposedly refused to sign the Official Secrets Act, “Shirley Knott” and “Ashleigh Pullin”. No doctors with those names appear on the General Medical Council’s medical register.
This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here. For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as false because the claims are incorrect and based on a blog post now labelled as possibly satirical.