False claim Rep. Lauren Boebert said Chinese balloon’s altitude of 60,000 feet was a mile

The claim: Rep. Lauren Boebert said, ‘The Chinese spy balloon was 60k feet high, which is only about one mile’

A Feb. 5 Facebook post (direct link, archive link) claimed a Republican congresswoman from Colorado bungled the math in a remark about the Chinese surveillance balloon that flew across the U.S. for several days.

“Lauren Boebert: ‘The Chinese spy balloon was 60k feet high, which is only about one mile,’” reads the post. “Yes, it took her 4 times to pass GED.”

The post was shared more than 300 times in five days.

Our rating: False

There is no evidence the congresswoman made any such remark, and her spokesperson said the claim is false. It originated on a satirical Twitter account.

Congresswoman’s representative says claim is ‘baseless lie’

A review of the congresswoman’s website and social media posts found no evidence of any such remark.

Benjamin Stout, Boebert’s spokesman, said the claim was a “baseless lie.”

The claim was first circulated on Twitter by a satirical account. The Twitter user’s bio says, “As my high IQ followers know, I have never faked a sarcasm,” and its tweets are often obvious jokes.

The balloon was flying at more than 60,000 feet in the air as it crossed South Carolina on the morning of Feb. 4, according to a tweet by the York County Sheriff’s Office.

That altitude is slightly more than 11 miles. The balloon was ultimately shot down over the Atlantic Ocean that afternoon at an altitude of just over 12 miles, as reported by USA TODAY.

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) speaks on the House floor as The House of Representatives reconvenes on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, trying to elect a Speaker of the House as the 118th session of Congress begins. Republicans take over the U.S. House of Representatives with a slim majority, and Democrats maintain a majority in the U.S. Senate.

The post also claims it took Boebert four attempts to receive her GED, or General Educational Development test, but there is similarly no evidence to support this claim. Boebert told The Durango Herald, a newspaper in her home state, that she received a GED after completing a four-course review.

USA TODAY has previously debunked false claims about Boebert, including that the congresswoman has a net worth of more than $12 million, that she disclosed former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s location during the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection and that her Colorado restaurant received a Paycheck Protection Program loan during the pandemic.

USA TODAY reached out to users who shared the claim for comment.

Our fact-check sources:

Thank you for supporting our journalism. You can subscribe to our print edition, ad-free app or electronic newspaper replica here.

Our fact-check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook. 

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Quote about Chinese spy balloon misattributed to Boebert

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *