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Texas man charged for falsely claiming he tested positive for COVID-19 as a ‘social experiment’

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A 23-year-old Texas man arrested for lying about testing positive for the new coronavirus told investigators he did so as a “social experiment,” authorities said.

Michael Lane Brandin of Woodville, in East Texas, was charged with false alarm or report, a class A misdemeanor, Jasper’s KJAS-TV reported. Bond was set at $1,000.

Tyler District Attorney Lucas Babin said Brandin intentionally posted on Facebook that he had tested positive for COVID-19, causing a panic and tying up phone lines at Woodville’s Tyler County Hospital, the news station said.

Brandin allegedly told investigators that he made the post as a ‘social experiment’ to make the point that not everything one reads online can be believed.

The district attorney posted earlier this week on Facebook that such claims could be a criminal offense.

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