A California health official couldn't stop himself from laughing as a Republican supervisor grilled him on the coronavirus vaccine and tracking devices.
Orange County supervisor Don Wagner has been a skeptic about efforts to mitigate the pandemic, and he demanded answers Tuesday evening about the vaccine from Dr. Clayton Chau, the county's chief public health officer and director of the Orange County Health Care Agency.
"Is there any intention of tracking folks?" Wagner asked.
Chau indicated there was no intention of that.
"We heard about an injection of a tracking device," Wagner said. "Is that being done anywhere in Orange County?"
Chau did not immediately respond, and then the microphone picked up his audible laughter.
"I'm sorry, I just have to compose myself," Chau said after a pause. "There is not a vaccine with a tracking device embedded in it that I know of [that] exists in the world, period."
Social media users have shared content suggesting that a microchip on vaccine syringes used to certify that individual doses are safe could be injected for nefarious purposes, but no such technology exists at this time.
After the video went viral, Wagner sent an email to The Washington Post explaining his line of questioning. He said some of his Orange County constituents had "made wild charges" about vaccines that he sought to debunk.
"I led Dr. Chau through those charges and to have him debunk them," Wagner said. "I knew they are not true but wanted the public to hear that directly from Dr. Chau. I got exactly the response from Dr. Chau I expected, with the same laugh at the absurdity of the charges that they deserve."
CORRECTION: This story was updated when Raw Story was alerted to Supervisor Wagner's intentions in his line of questioning. We regret the error.