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Ohio National Guard: Viral post about national quarantine, 'Stafford Act' is a hoax

Members of the Ohio National Guard said Wednesday that a letter claiming the president would invoke the Stafford Act to enforce a two-week quarantine is fake.
Credit: Ohio National Guard

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio National Guard is warning that a letter circulating online, claiming a national two-week quarantine is on its way, is a hoax. 

The fake letter states:

"Homeland security is preparing to mobilize the national guard. Preparing to dispatch them across the US along with the military."

It goes on to say:

"They will announce this soon, as they have troops in place to help prevent looters and rioters...they will announce before the end of the weekend."

On Twitter Wednesday, the Ohio National Guard addressed these claims, confirming that they are indeed false and calling the letter "fake."

Similar rumors spread quickly on social media and through text messages at the onset of the pandemic, with false claims that the Stafford Act would be invoked to force Americans into quarantine. This, of course, was false.

RELATED: VERIFY: Text messages about national quarantine and 'Stafford Act' are fake

In fact, our Verify Team found that the Stafford Act can not be used in this way. The legislation is geared toward disaster relief.

Using the Stafford Act is actually fairly common. It was used to declare major disasters an average of nearly 36 times a year between 1953 and 2016.

Keep in mind, many false rumors like this one will cite a "friend of a friend," or some sort of distant, vague relative that even people who know the originator aren't ever likely to meet. Sources for these hoaxes are almost always unnamed, making it hard to find the original source and verify its authenticity. 

RELATED: VERIFY: No confirmed sources for viral coronavirus quarantine voicemail

Both the current false claim circulating and similar rumors from March stated that announcements hadn't yet been made, but that they were coming sometime in the near future. Remember, it is hard to disprove something that hasn't happened yet. 

The best course of action? Don't spread these messages.