'Bad anthrax' Army memo spreads false information

Matt Saintsing
April 17, 2018 - 7:01 pm

Taken from Facebook

An alleged U.S. Army memo concerning bad batches of the Anthrax vaccines and tells soldiers of a “possible Veteran Affairs benefit” has been circulating the internet. Information in that memo, however, is not legitimate according to Facebook messages obtained by Connecting Vets.

“The purpose of this tasking informs Soldiers who received bad Anthrax batches from Ft. Campbell and Ft. Drum from 2001-2007 for (Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom) in order to notify possible 100 percent VA disabilities due to bad anthrax batches,” the memo reads.

Branded with Department of the Army letter head, the April 10 memo could have a legitimate, yet unpublished and uncirculated source behind it and could indeed be deemed official.

However, Cpt. Norris Potter, one of the memo's points of contact, claimed in a Facebook convseration that the information the memo is based off of, was distorted and ultimately circulated online. 

Source provided screenshot of Facebook message from Cpt. Norris Potter.

 

Potter asserts that the memo isn't legitimate given he never meant to send it officially and because his name was used without his permission, a source close to Potter claims. 

The only way to tell if a soldier or veteran is affected is by verifying the batch's lot numbers, usually, but not always, found in official medical records. The memo, however, does not contain batch numbers for the suspected bad Anthrax vaccine batches.

The Massachusetts Department of Veterans Services called the memo "fake" and a "scam" over the weekend, but provided no futher information. 

VA claims are made outside of the DOD, which originally pushed the memo's contents into question. When asked about the validity of the memo, a VA spokesperson told Connecting Vets they are unaware of it.  

The Army confirmed that the memo was real, but the information is incorrect. 

“Second Battalion, 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade recently published an internal memorandum with the intent of informing Soldiers of the potential health risks associated with the anthrax vaccine based on information they believed was correct,”said Christina Wright, a media relations officer at Eighth Army Public Affairs, in an email to Connecting Vets. 

“Defense Health Agency representatives have verified the information is false and completely without merit. Once the brigade discovered the error, the correct information was published to their Soldiers,” she said.