Actor pretended to have Covid-19 for hospital training exercise, not for propaganda

16 December 2021
What was claimed

An actor was hired to pretend that she had been hospitalised with Covid-19.

Our verdict

The person in the video was part of a training exercise in a German hospital. It was not done to create Covid propaganda.

A Facebook post claims to have proof an actor was contracted to pretend they were a hospital patient with Covid-19. 

The post includes a screenshot of a tweet. It says the actor “shows her contract detailing her role” and that it required her to pretend she was short of breath. 

The Facebook post’s caption states “Crisis actors…Anyone got any conspiracies that haven’t come true we can use? I’m running out of them!”

While it’s true the person in the video was pretending to have Covid-19, it was part of a training exercise for hospital staff, rather than to create any propaganda as the post seems to imply. 

The video was posted on Instagram in 2020 but was later appropriated to make misleading claims about actors hired to pretend they had Covid. 

Fact checkers at German broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW), who investigated some of these claims, contacted the video’s creator and discovered she had been participating in a hospital training session. 

DW fact checker Rachel Baig said: “So yes, we do see actors pretending to be Covid patients but this is not staged for media purposes. On the contrary it is being used to help real doctors and nurses prepare for worst case scenarios.”

In a clip posted on her Instagram page, the video’s creator said (in German and translated online) that she and her friends were paid for participating, and a camera crew was filming. However it was done by the hospital “to find errors in the daily routine, such as poor organisation”.

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