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Video claiming to show Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom suffering side effects from COVID-19 booster shot is fake

The original video was lifted from Newsom’s Twitter account. In that, he did not appear to suffer from any paralysis and spoke straight into the camera.

Editor's note: This story was updated on Nov. 10; the tweet containing the doctored video has since been deleted.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Oct. 27 received the Moderna vaccine booster to further protect himself from COVID-19.

After receiving the booster, the governor canceled a trip to Scotland for the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP26. The Associated Press reported he would attend the gathering virtually, but staff had declined to comment on what prompted the change of plans.

Some people on social media suggested Newsom had an adverse reaction to the booster shot, including claims he is suffering from Bell’s palsy or Guillain-Barré syndrome (examples here, here and here). 

One video, with more than 127,000 views on Twitter as of Nov. 9, appears to show Newsom suffering from facial paralysis with a caption that says: “Gavin Newsom is fine. He released this video just two days ago.”

Credit: Screenshot/@mazemoore

The tweet has since been deleted.


Is the video of California Gov. Gavin Newsom appearing to suffer from partial facial paralysis real? 



This is false.

No, the viral video is doctored to show a partial facial paralysis. The original, un-manipulated video was posted to Newsom’s Twitter account on Nov. 4 and does not show any paralysis. 

Gov. Gavin Newsom did not have any adverse reaction to his booster shot, a spokesperson for the governor's office told VERIFY in an email.


The video alleging to show Newsom with slight facial paralysis was posted by Twitter user @mazemoore, who describes themselves as a digital artist and video editor. The account has more than 26,000 followers. 

VERIFY compared the doctored video to the original video from Newsom's own Twitter account. The original video was posted on Nov. 4 and was created in order to wish a “happy Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas to all who celebrate.”

The doctored video clip comes from the first 10 seconds of the original video posted from Newsom’s Twitter account, which is 1 minute, 19 seconds long. The speech, subtitles, clothing and the flags seen in the background are identical. The only difference is the manipulation of the image to show facial paralysis. The manipulated video also includes a @mazemoore watermark.

Credit: Screenshot/Twitter

Newsom had no adverse reaction to the booster, the governor’s press secretary Daniel Lopez told VERIFY in an email.

Lopez said Newsom has not been missing in action since receiving the booster, but has been working with staff on several different issues.

“Last week Governor Newsom worked in the Capitol with staff on urgent issues including COVID-19 vaccines for kids, boosters, ports, the forthcoming state budget and California’s continued economic recovery. He will have public events this week related to the economy and vaccines,” Lopez told VERIFY in the email. 

On Nov. 9, Newsom made a public appearance at the California Economic Summit and had no visible side effects from the booster shot. 

More from VERIFY: No, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine dosage is not the same for kids ages 5 to 11 as it is for adults

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