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'The city is not shutting down' | Houston mayor attacks misinformation spreading online

Sylvester Turner is calling for an investigation into people spreading misinformation about the coronavirus online.

HOUSTON — Mayor Sylvester Turner has a very specific message for everyone: the city is not shutting down.

The mayor called a news conference late Friday afternoon to dispel rumors circulating on social media that the city was going on lockdown. The mayor said those rumors were just that—rumors.

“There’s no lockdown, the city is not shutting down,” Turner said. “There are only three people in the state of Texas who can do that: the mayor, county judge or governor.”

Turner called for an investigation into social media posts spreading misinformation. Houston Chief of Police Art Acevedo said the department launched an investigation Friday and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office said it would prosecute anyone found creating this misinformation.

Turner also warned of scammers trying to take advantage of people during this outbreak. He warned people be wary of anyone asking for social security numbers, robocalls, door-to-door sellers, or people asking for your information to get a stimulus check from the federal government.

“Get your news from the television, get your news from the paper, government officials,” Turner said. “But the last place to get your information as it relates to this crisis is social media."

Turner reminded everyone there was no need to rush grocery stores and reminded everyone to wash their hands.