FEMA denies countering Russian nuclear threat with Covid social-distancing and mask measures after Don Jr spreads false rumor

While the Covid advice was not added in response to Vladimir Putin’s nuclear escalation, it is indeed official doctrine added under the Biden administration in 2020.

Putin puts Russia's nuclear forces on 'high alert'

The Biden administration has denied a viral internet meme that it responded to Russia’s nuclear escalation by adding social distancing and masking to advice for Americans facing nuclear attack.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency told The Independent that no changes were made to the “nuclear explosion” guidelines on Ready.gov website in response to Vladimir Putin’s atomic escalation.

But while not in response to Mr Putin’s recent threats, social distancing and masking measures are indeed official guidelines added under the Biden administration in 2020.

“It is not true that the Covid social distancing language was updated in response to the situation with Russia-Ukraine,” FEMA spokeswoman Jaclyn Rothenberg said.

“COVID protocols were originally added in 2020, and pages are now going through reviews to update that language based on new CDC guidance that was just released.”

Despite the Covid advice in the face of a nuclear blast being almost two years old, it was seized upon by Donald Trump Jr as an example that “these are not serious people”.

“You literally can’t make this stuff up anymore,” he wrote on Instagram. “Our government wants us to make sure we socially distance in the event of nuclear war because obviously you’re worried about dying of Covid and not nuclear fallout. These are not serious people they are imbeciles.”

It came after the Ready.gov website noted an update on 25 February, which was circulated by the popular Twitter meme account Libs of TikTok.

The timing of the viral tweet against the backdrop of Putin putting his nuclear deterrence forces on high alert led to speculation and news reports that the Covid guidelines were added as part of the site update three days ago.

The guidelines for what to do in the case of a nuclear explosion and prevent significant radiation exposure include: “Try to maintain a distance of at least six feet between yourself and people who are not part of your household. If possible, wear a mask if you’re sheltering with people who are not a part of your household.”

Fema said that the only updates to the site on Friday were to fix broken links, and that no new language was added to or taken off that particular page in recent days.

“The change made to the Ready.gov page on 2/25 was to remove a link that previously existed but is now broken www.remm.nlm.gov,” Ms Rothenberg said.

“That page was migrated to an hhs.gov site: Nuclear Detonation: Weapons, Improvised Nuclear Devices - Radiation Emergency Medical Management (hhs.gov) but the link was probably removed by the contractor as they were going through a sweep for broken links across the site and fixing them.  That’s a routine procedure.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in