A viral Facebook video of empty shelves at a Walmart in Pennsylvania is not evidence of supply chain problems. The coolers shown were temporarily emptied while a refrigerant leak was repaired. Let’s take a look at the facts.
Visual misinformation like out-of-context video and photos are easily mistaken for sound evidence for false claims, especially when they involve issues that hit close to home. In this case, there is a seed of truth: The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on global supply chains — a problem exacerbated by transport issues; disruptions to production and labor; and business strategies aimed at “reducing the amount of on-hand and in-transit inventory.” Rumors seeking to exploit public frustrations and anxiety about these disruptions for political gain have been common throughout the pandemic.
Here is a full copy of the video:
- “No, this Pennsylvania Walmart didn’t run out of food” (Ciara O'Rourke, PolitiFact).
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