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Miller-Meeks causes confusion after sharing parody article on benefits for unvaccinated veterans

Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, R-Iowa, speaks during a House Select Subcommittee on the...
Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, R-Iowa, speaks during a House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hybrid hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool)(Susan Walsh | AP)
Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 4:04 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - A tweet by Representative Mariannette Miller-Meeks is causing confusion falsely claiming that President Biden will withhold medical benefits from unvaccinated veterans.

The link was shared late Sunday night by Miller-Meeks’ Twitter account. Miller-Meeks, a Republican representing Iowa’s second congressional district, tweeted, “If true, this is insane!” The tweet directed readers to an article claiming that the President will “withhold healthcare benefits from unvaccinated veterans as part of an aggressive new initiative to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The article appears on the website DelawareOhioNews.com, a self-described parody website that cautions its readers with a warning, “. . . everything on this website is made up. Do not rely on anything said here.”

Several commenters on the website - and in response to Miller-Meeks’ tweet - appeared to have believed the false claim was accurate. The tweet remained on Rep. Miller-Meeks’ account more than 17 hours after being posted.

At least one veteran has reached out to KCRG-TV9 after hearing about the false claim, worried he was losing his benefits.

“I’ve fought my wars, I sacrificed my body and I was told the VA and federal government would be there to take care of us. All my brothers’ and sisters’ health are being held hostage,” the veteran wrote.

In a statement, Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Ross Wilburn called on Miller-Meeks to apologize.

“Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks needs to apologize to Iowa Veterans and President Biden for sharing a blatantly false, satirical story on social media and lending credence to its claims. Miller-Meeks couldn’t do the bare minimum of research – the source clearly states its satirical purpose as an outlet “...for real fake local commentary, news, and opinion,” Wilburn said. “This kind of behavior is an embarrassment to our state and a danger to our democracy. It’s also an insult to hard-working Iowa journalists.”

KCRG-TV9 has reached out to Representative Miller-Meeks for comment.

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