Was ReAwaken America hit by Anthrax attack? Theory takes flight as attendees fall ill
A number of QAnon and far-right influencers have blamed their sickness on an "anthrax attack" following the conservative ReAwaken America tour held from December 9 to 11 in Texas. The tour featured various QAnon conspiracy theorists, big name conservatives, and far-right figures. Part of a tour acoss various states, the Dallas event was attended by guest speakers such as former president Donald Trump adviser Michael Flynn, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, and far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
The Reawaken America Tour was founded by Clay Clark and Dr Robert Zoellner. Clark is the organizer, emcee and host of the General Flynn ReAwaken America Tour, the former “U.S. SBA Entrepreneur of the Year” for the State of Oklahoma, the founder of several multi-million dollar companies, and the host of the Thrivetime Show podcast. Zoellner is a successful optometrist turned entrepreneur.
Unlike what is being claimed, there is no evidence to suggest that anthrax was present at the conference in Dallas. Anthrax is a bacterial infection that has been used as a method of biological warfare and its symptoms include cough and shortness of breath. The symptoms are similar to those of Covid-19, says the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Despite Covid-19 cases rapidly spreading across the US with the Omicron variant having become the dominant strain, prominent far-right figures want to believe the anthrax claims. Joe Oltmann, a far-right hanger-on who hosts the Conservative Daily podcast, attended the event and claimed without proof that he is the victim of a supposed anthrax attack. “South Florida peeps. I have a [sic] urgent need! I have been sick with what could be an anthrax attack it turns out. More later on this,” he wrote on Telegram. Oltmann also claimed that conspiracy theorist Jovan Pulitzer may have also been affected by the poisoning. “Jovan Pulitzer is in a bad place right now. Please pray for him. Bring the spirit of healing upon him. In Jesus name, Amen,” Oltmann said. “Might be Anthrax.”
Pulitzer, who apparently found that he was 'Anthrax negative', took to Twitter to claim that he was the victim of biological warfare nonetheless. “To my friends tried to keep this underwraps [sic] until we knew what we were dealing with but Evidence suggest [sic] that several of us were targeted by biological agents at an event. This has wreaked havoc on my system [with] all of the most dangerous symptoms appearing,” Pulitzer tweeted. “Scary to say the least.”
“From rashes to blistering, passing blood to 2 solid days of haculicinations [sic]. Massive fever storms drenching me and not abating BUT STILL NO definitive diagnosis yet All I know is zombie symptoms would be easier than these symptoms," he added.
1. To my friends tried to keep this underwraps until we knew what we were dealing with but Evidence suggest that several of us were targeted by biological agents at an event This has wreaked havoc on my system w all of the most dangerous symptoms appearing Scary to say the least— JovanHuttonPulitzer™ #JovanHuttonPulitzer (@JovanHPulitzer) December 22, 2021
2. From rashes, to blistering, passing blood to 2 solid days of haculicinations Massive fever storms drenching me and not abating BUT STILL NO definitive diagnosis yet All I know is zombie symptoms would be easier than these symptoms.— JovanHuttonPulitzer™ #JovanHuttonPulitzer (@JovanHPulitzer) December 22, 2021
Clay Clark claimed that the unfounded anthrax claim originated from former university professor turned 2020 election cyber “expert” David Clements. Clements, however, later denied his involvement in originating the theory. Finally putting the rumors to bed, Clark told The Daily Beast, "There was not anthrax through the fog machines.” He said that if Anthrax was indeed there, “one, I think we would all be dead, you know." He further noted that the church that hosted the event uses “fog for a lot of different special effects" that Clark has no control over.
However, it is the still not clear what is this mystery ailment that hit the event attendees.