In mid-May 2020, Facebook users began circulating a years-old video in which a man claimed the government was scheming to forcibly round up unvaccinated people. The video circulated widely without any indication as to when it was filmed and with the words “Heads up Oklahoma” edited in, leading some to think it pertained to the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus disease pandemic, specifically in the state of Oklahoma.
The video, which has been on YouTube since 2009, featured Greg Evensen, a blogger who described himself as a former Kansas State Trooper. In the video, Evensen discussed a government “edict of mandated vaccinations”:
Evensen said in the video that he had been “told by state troopers across the country that there are plans ready to be implemented that include roadblocks and chokepoints,” and that there was a plan to fit members of the public with microchips containing “all kinds of information,” including whether they had been vaccinated. Anyone who refused to be vaccinated, Evensen said, would be placed in buses and shipped off to detention.
Evensen’s comments appeared to be a variation on a cross between two long-standing conspiracy theories. One theory centers on the mass detention of Americans — in most iterations the detention is to take place in camps created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). And the other theory centers on activists who believe vaccines are harmful, and that a nefarious conspiracy exists to force them on the public. His remarks were made during the H1N1 swine flu pandemic of 2009.
This isn’t the first time a large-scale emergency prompted a variation of the claim that FEMA would be forcing people to receive vaccines. During Hurricane Harvey in 2017, a false claim circulated that the agency was denying those impacted by the storm any aid unless they had been vaccinated.
Because the video was made in 2009 and had nothing to do with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic (for which there was no vaccine, anyway, as of this writing), and because the statements made in the video alluded to unfounded conspiracies that have not come to pass, we rate this claim “False.”