One of Southern California’s top Republican lawmakers asked a doctor if there’s a tracking device inside the coronavirus vaccines being given to residents—and got the answer the favorite question of conspiracy theorists deserved. Don Wagner, a member of the Orange County Board of Supervisors, asked his question during a Tuesday meeting to discuss the possibility of vaccine passports. “Is there any intention of tracking folks?” Wagner asked OC Health Care Agency Director Clayton Chau, who replied “Nope.” Undeterred, Wagner went on: “Is there any, in the vaccine, we heard about the injection of a tracking device. Is that being done anywhere in Orange County?” Dr. Chau paused for a second before letting out a laugh and saying: “I’m sorry, I just have to compose myself. There is not a vaccine with a tracking device embedded in it that I know of that exists in the world. Period.”
Update: After the clip was widely shared, Chau and Wagner defended the question, saying it was asked on behalf of dozens of residents who had expressed concern about vaccine tracking earlier in the meeting. Chau said: “There were actually people who showed up believing that there is a tracking device in the vaccine, and that’s what I was laughing at, not the Supervisor as the media outlets have presented out of context. That’s why the Supervisor asked me that question—for me to address and dispel the myth for the public. I know Supervisor doesn’t believe that myth because we talked about it; and because I was the one who vaccinated him.” Wagner said at a press event later that he asked the question only to dispel the public’s questions about the coronavirus vaccines.