As the United States sees coronavirus cases drop while more people in the country get vaccinated, the Biden administration hasn’t announced plans for a fourth stimulus check for Americans as of this article’s publication. Posts on social media, however, assert that a fourth check is on its way and will be available only to Americans who provide proof of vaccination, providing no evidence for the contention.
Examples of posts making this claim can be seen here , here and here . The text reads, “BREAKING: Biden announces plan for 4th stimulus check, but only for Americans with proof of vaccination.” One user replied on Facebook, saying, “that is called coercion and it is illegal af. I already have an attorney waiting.”
The source of the claim appears to be the Twitter account @thecrypt0gospel (here) that had temporarily changed its user name to “Breaking 911” – imitating the popular @Breaking911 account, known for tweeting out breaking news headlines (twitter.com/Breaking911). The moment @thecrypt0gospel imitated Breaking911 can be seen in an archived snapshot from May 3, 2021, here://twitter.com/thecrypt0gospel/status/1389315093792399360 .
The account later replied to its own tweet saying it was intended as a joke, “Wow, uh so my joke is going viral” (here), followed by, “I would like to take this moment to share this valuable information on how and why to avoid the v@x at all costs.” It has shared various vaccine-skeptical tweets.
As of May 7, the Biden administration has not actually announced a fourth round of direct payment checks for Americans. In a May 4 press briefing, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked if another round of direct payments to Americans might be on the table. “We’ll see what members of Congress propose, but those are not free!” (see around 38:54 in, www.c-span.org/video/?511467-1/jen-psaki-briefs-reporters-white-house ).
A CNET article exploring Biden’s two bill proposals and how they might benefit Americans can be found here .
There is also no indication that administrators of a future stimulus check could differentiate between recipients who were vaccinated or not.
This precondition has been proposed by some in the past, but has not been a requirement for any direct payments so far. In December 2020, former congressman John Delaney proposed requiring proof of vaccination to receive $1,500 stimulus checks, CNBC reported here . “We have to create, in my judgment, an incentive for people to really accelerate their thinking about taking the vaccine,” Delaney told CNBC. He insisted the idea was optional, saying “You won’t participate in this program,” if people were not comfortable in receiving the vaccine.
No such idea was incorporated in the government’s third round of pandemic relief stimulus checks, delivered in March 2021. Both the House and Senate would have to approve a fourth round.
The White House did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment regarding any new direct payments and whether they would contain a prerequisite for vaccination.
False. As of May 7, the Biden administration has not announced plans for a fourth round of direct payments to Americans dependent on vaccination status.
This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here .