Fact check: Anthony Bourdain did not tweet about Wuhan and bat soup in 2018

The claim: Image shows Anthony Bourdain tweeted about bat soup in Wuhan 

An image circulating on social media purports to show a 2018 tweet from TV celebrity chef and author Anthony Bourdain about eating bat soup in Wuhan. 

Bourdain, known for his love of travel and food, traveled the globe to host his TV shows “No Reservations” and “Parts Unknown.” He died in France at age 61 in June 2018, and his death was ruled a suicide. 

“This might be the best bat soup I ever had in my life. Someday everyone’s gonna be talking about Wuhan,” reads a screenshot of the purported tweet, which was shared to Instagram on June 8. 

The profile picture and blue checkmark in the image resemble the one displayed on Bourdain’s verified Twitter profile, and the post claims the tweet was posted on May 22, 2018, at 5:40 p.m.

An Instagram handle included above the image indicates the page captured the photo from another social media user that posted the same image on June 7.

In a message to USA TODAY, one Instagram user said the post was meant to be a joke. The other user did not return a request for comment. 

An online search shows the claim dates back to at least a year ago, when it was posted to Reddit in a “CoronavirusMemes” thread. One Reddit user wrote, “Did he really say this?” 

But Bourdain didn’t tweet this, and this is not the first time hehas been the target of false social media claims. 

Fact check: Fake tweet claims Hillary Clinton posted about vaccines and Jeffrey Epstein

No evidence of tweet

A search of the purported tweet on Bourdain’s official Twitter page results in no matches, and there is no evidence he ever tried bat soup in Wuhan, 

Bourdain did share a tweet at 5:40 p.m. on May 22, 2018, in which he thanked Spike Lee for sticking up for his girlfriend during her 2018 speech at the Cannes Film Festival’s awards ceremony. 

He sentoutfiveothertweets on that date, none of which mention bat soup or Wuhan. Bourdain’s official Instagram and Facebook page also do not include any posts about bat soup or traveling to Wuhan.

Wuhan does not appear in a list from Lonely Planet of places Bourdain traveled to. The most recent report of Bourdain visiting China is from 2016, when he tried Sichuan dishes with his friend Eric Ripert, according to Food and Wine.

It appears the Spike Lee tweet was used as a template by someone who then added their own text to create the fake Bourdain tweet.

The fake tweet contributes to the false narrative that the coronavirus originated from people eating bat soup. The myth started after social media users shared a video of a woman eating bat soup, but fact-checkers discovered the video was taken in 2016 in Palau, an archipelago in the western Pacific Ocean. 

Fact check: Israel recognizes same-sex marriages performed abroad

Our rating: False

An image claiming Bourdain tweeted about eating bat soup in Wuhan in 2018 is FALSE, based on our research. The tweet does not exist on Bourdain’s official Twitter page. There is no evidence he ever traveled to Wuhan and ate bat soup. Claims that COVID-19 is linked to bat soup have been debunked. 

Our fact-check sources: 

  • PolitiFact, June 9, No, Anthony Bourdain didn’t tweet about bat soup in Wuhan
  • Anthony Bourdain, accessed June 9, official Twitter page
  • Anthony Bourdain, May 22, 2018, tweet
  • Anthony Bourdain, May 22, 2018, tweet
  • Anthony Bourdain, May 22, 2018, tweet
  • Anthony Bourdain, May 22, 2018, tweet
  • Anthony Bourdain, May 22, 2018, tweet
  • Anthony Bourdain May 22, 2018, tweet
  • IndieWire, May 21,2018,  Asia Argento Says Spike Lee Was the Only One Who ‘Spoke Kind Words’ to Her After Her Fiery Cannes Speech
  • Anthony Bourdain, accessed June 9, official Instagram page
  • Anthony Bourdain, accessed June 9, official Facebook page
  • Lonely Planet, June 8, An A-Z of palaces Anthony Bourdain visited around the world
  • Healthline, Dec. 11, 2020, What’s ‘Bat Soup,’ and Did It Cause the New Coronavirus? 
  • Maldita.es, Jan. 30, 2020, Misleading: Video of a woman eating bat soup and its reaction with the coronavirus outbreak. 

Thank you for supporting our journalism. You can subscribe to our print edition, ad-free app or electronic newspaper replica here.

Our fact check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.

Source: Read Full Article