Journalist Giorgi Gigauri, in an article printed in March 30 – April 5 issue of Asaval-Dasavali newspaper, stated that on March 24, 2020, in the United States, a congressman Randy Weber prayed due to coronavirus and asked God to have mercy on his country.
Giorgi Gigauri, journalist: “In the United States, a country that became the main epicenter of coronavirus pandemic, on March 24, a gathering of American legislators took place on Capitol Hill. During this event, U.S. House Republican Representative from Texas, Randy Weber prayed with tears in his eyes and asked God to have mercy on the United States”.
The video showing Rep. Randy Weber publically praying was published by Facebook page„საპატრიარქოს უწყებანის“ (“News of the Patriarchate”) and საპატრიარქოს ტელევიზია „ერთსულოვნება“ (“Patriarchate TV Ertsulovneba”) on March 26. The video comes with a caption: “A prayer said in the U.S. Congress in the time of trial”.
The video has accumulated more than 16,000 shares since its upload date.
The statement of the Asaval-Dasavali journalist is a disinformation, while the video was disseminated under a fake context which creates an incorrect perception that the American congressman prays due to coronavirus pandemic. Weber did not say the prayer, shown on the video on March 24, 2020, but rather in April 2017, when he asked God for forgiveness after the legalization of same-sex marriage in the United States.
Jefferson Gathering at the Capitol, Washington DC is an annual event that features the U.S. House Representatives, who gather to pray for the American people. At the 2017 Gathering, Republican Representative from Texas, Randy Weber said a long prayer, in which he asked God for forgiveness for legalizing the same-sex marriage and abortions, carried out in the United States.
“Father we’ve trampled on your institution of holy matrimony… Father, oh Father, please forgive us” – prayed the congressman with tears in his eyes.
The video-manipulation has also been shared on a Russian social media website Vkontakte with a similar fake context.
Who is Randy Weber?
Rep. Randy Weber often gets into the spotlight of the American press. In 2015, he called President Barack Obama “Hitler” for not appearing at a solidarity march devoted to the Paris Attacks.
Randy Weber is one of those U.S. House Representatives that addressed the Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia in February 2020 and expressed their concern due to the deteriorating state of democracy in Georgia.
Prepared by Nika Romanadze
Myth Detector Lab