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Axios falsely claims Justice Thomas said COVID vaccines are created with cells derived from ‘aborted children’

Thomas was citing petitioners' claims in his written dissent and did not say it as fact.

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Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA
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On Thursday, Axios published an article which made false claims about conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and a statement he made regarding COVID-19 vaccines.

The outlet reported that Justice Thomas stated that COVID-19 vaccines are created with cells derived from "aborted children." However, Thomas was citing petitioners' claims in his written dissent and did not say it as fact.

Thomas dissented to the Supreme Court's refusal to hear a case on Thursday which challenged New York's vaccine mandate based on religion.

In the written dissent, Thomas said, "Petitioners are 16 healthcare workers who served New York communities throughout the COVID–19 pandemic. They object on religious grounds to all available COVID–19 vaccines because they were developed using cell lines de- rived from aborted children."

It's obvious that the Justice was paraphrasing the lawsuit, but Axios decided to mislead readers by issuing a "reality check" on the Thomas' statements. A reality check is similar to a "fact check."

"Reality check: No coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. contains the cells of aborted fetuses," Axios said.

Adding, "Some vaccines have used fetal cell lines during the early stages of the vaccine development, but the final products do not contain fetal cells. Additionally, these fetal cells came from elective abortions "performed decades ago."

The outlet was forced to update the article and released an editor's note after receiving backlash across social media for publishing the false allegations.

"Editor's note: The headline and lead of this story have been updated to note Thomas was referencing cells of "aborted children" in his dissent," Axios said.

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