There are conspiracies today about almost everything: Are the pictures of the Moon Landing real; Did Oswald kill President John F. Kennedy; Have aliens been among us for years hidden by the U.S. Government. A full list of conspiracy theories would be exhaustive. But we have one today that seems to be growing swiftly and is bloated now: COVID-19 is NOT a naturally-occurring disease.
Here’s what seems to be sparking those conspiracies:
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that so far this season in the U.S., there have been at least 38 million flu illnesses, 390,000 hospitalizations, and 23,000 deaths from flu from September 2019 through March 14, 2020.
- As of March 21, according to the CDC, the U.S. has a reported 9,931 coronavirus confirmed cases with a total of 275 deaths, almost half occurring in Washington, New York, and California. (287,239 confirmed cases worldwide with a total of 11,921 deaths)
These two sets of numbers, when laid on a table side-by-side, create a pause for many people — including many experts. Put the following in context:
- Thirty-eight million Americans infected with influenza since September 2019 have resulted in 23,000 deaths so far. That, of course, happened when we have flu vaccinations and have for many years.
- Then there are 9931 COVID-19 confirmed illnesses nationwide with 275 deaths.
These numbers seem to conflict with each other.
Based on influenza (flu) numbers that experts in Medicine have watched for decades, it is reasonable to expect there to be some correlation to those of COVID-19.
There are not.
This has those in Medicine, those in politics, and many Americans also in a panic. One often-expressed concern is, “What if there’s some underhanded political conspiracy underway to scare Americans to death while destroying the American economy?”
If you’ve thought that or something similar, you’re not alone.
The World Health Organization (WHO) put out this statement: “At WHO, we’re not just battling the virus, we’re also battling the trolls and conspiracy theorists that push misinformation and undermine the outbreak response.”
Twenty-seven scientists recently put out this statement in an open letter stating that theories suggesting COVID-19 does not have a natural origin do “nothing but create fear, rumors, and prejudice that jeopardize our global collaboration in the fight against this virus.”
“An outbreak like this has many uncertainties, and when people don’t have answers, and scientists are not able to give them all the answers and assurances they need, they are likely to start speculating.” This quote is from Marina Joubert, a senior science communication researcher based in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
Why Conspiracy Theories?
One study by the U.S. State Department, reported by the Washington Post, said roughly two million tweets touting conspiracy theories about the virus – such as claims a bioweapon caused it – had been posted outside the U.S. over the three weeks when the disease began to spread outside China.
According to Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the World Health Organization (WHO), such claims hamper the effort to fight the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Also, understandably, people are scared and the images of people wearing masks and large cities that are deserted, cause further anxiety,” she added, referring to lockdowns imposed in several Chinese and Italian cities and now the U.S. to contain the outbreak.
Andrea Kitta, associate professor at East Carolina University, said the “narrative patterns” of conspiracy theories surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak were identical to those in past epidemics.
“In previous pandemics like HIV or H1N1, there have been similar conspiracy theories on bioengineering, plots to cull certain populations, or that it’s linked to eating and sanitation habits,” she said.
A widely circulated theory linked the virus to a video of Chinese woman eating bat soup, which was shared widely on social media and eventually picked up by mainstream media sites including Russian state-owned network, RT, and British tabloid Daily Mail.
It later emerged that the clip was of a well-known Chinese vlogger eating the soup in Indonesia in 2016. While scientists believe bats are a carrier for the new virus, they suspect it may have jumped to humans via another animal host.
The bat soup claim is just one of the many reports linking what Chinese people eat to the new outbreak, and one among many peddling racially charged claims.
“Some of the stereotypes that have emerged are that Chinese people are ‘dirty’ and that they eat weird things. When we don’t have the information we need, we tend to speculate, but unfortunately, that’s also where our inherent bias starts to come into play. We do this to make ourselves feel safe, but it’s problematic,” said Kitta.
In the U.S., right-wing media have also peddled conspiracy theories of their own, with the Washington Times saying that the coronavirus may have originated in a lab linked to China’s “covert biological weapons program,” a theory later backed by Republican Senator Tom Cotton.
Rush Limbaugh said the “coronavirus was being weaponized as yet another element to bring down” Trump.
“Had the virus originated in a country not so significant, it would have been treated and seen in a different light,” said a Thai political scientist and director of the Institute for Science and International Security, in Bangkok.
“China has issues with a lot of countries, including economic rivalry and geopolitical tensions with the U.S. It is dominant globally, and Chinese tourists are the number-one source for a lot of Asian countries. All of this has impacted the way the pandemic has been reported.”
An article in Foreign Policy magazine said Chinese President Xi Jinping’s “political agenda might turn out to be a root cause of the epidemic” and that his multibillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative has “made it possible for a local disease to become a global menace.”
COVID-19 Conspiracies Get Wilder
Some seem to be far out. We’ll list a few so that you know how creative some folks are when creating conspiracies. Please understand: we do NOT endorse any theory at all regarding the Coronavirus. None of these conspiracy theories are ours, nor do we support them in any way. We just relate them to you hear so you know they are out there and are nothing more than someone’s theory.
- One conspiracy theory is that China set coronavirus loose as a population control tool. Here’s their reasoning: China in the past has been known to participate in forced abortions, infanticides, and even executions strictly on the grounds of population control. Setting COVID-19 loose elsewhere in the World allowed them to cripple some of their geopolitical opponents while China moves forward ahead of those others with the confidence of knowing all about how this pandemic occurred.
- A second conspiracy theory is that China is using the virus to cripple the number one economy in the World: the U.S. We all know how devastating to our economy COVID-19 is already. Just imagine how much more damage will occur in the next few weeks. Once again, China inches closer economically to the U.S. in such a case.
- Still another theory is that the U.S. outsourcing so much of the development of our pharmaceuticals to China gives them a tremendous opportunity over the U.S. Some of the drugs being used to treat those who have contracted COVID-19 are manufactured in China. Can’t you envision what damage it would do if Xi Xinping blackmailed the U.S. to weaken our political position compared to China by withholding medication from us?
- Then there are the domestic conspiracy theories. Deep Staters comprised of many Democrats and even Never-Trumpers from the GOP are using Coronavirus in cahoots with the mainstream media to scare Americans to death. They are doing this (allegedly) to denigrate the President’s ability to lead in a crisis to breathe life back into their heretofore hopelessness for winning control of the Senate and the White House and maintaining House control this November.
- This final conspiracy theory is probably the most bizarre. Some think the $22 Trillion in U.S. debt when coupled with the $100 Trillion of unfunded liabilities (primarily the U.S. government guarantees of unfunded pensions of municipal employees and labor unions) makes it unlikely the American economy can survive much longer without massive unemployment, skyrocketing inflation, and a recession that might even turn into another Great Depression. To counter that, this immediate massive COVID-19 spending could be the last straw for the U.S. economy. We just might see the U.S. default on its debt. That’s NEVER happened before. What would that look like? Our principal tool for “borrowing money” is the issuance of Treasury Bonds. The Federal Reserve issues those bonds, and the Treasury sells them in auctions. The U.S. Treasury uses the money to put into circulation. What if the U.S. just said the government is no longer going to pay interest or even principal on those bonds? That besides being an economic pandemic would undoubtedly destroy our financial structure of capitalism. Those who believe this want a “do-over” in government.
These are crazy, aren’t they? The quarantine most Americans are living in now makes it easy for some just to reach out and grab the latest and most dramatic conspiracy theory they have heard of holding onto something that “might” be tangible.
DON’T BE TEMPTED TO DO THAT! The only conspiracy theory I know that came true CAME TRUE ONLY IN A MOVIE. Surprisingly, the name of the movie was Conspiracy Theory in 1997! Isn’t that odd? Mel Gibson starred in the film.
Here are the REAL truths of this entire thing: It’s Real! People are ill; people are dying. And the numbers are growing at dramatic rates.
It doesn’t matter where COVID-19 came from at this point. It could have been some crazy nut created in his shoe! If so, that’s something to think about somewhere in the future, if not at all. What matters today is self-preservation and that of our family members and loved ones.
I must be honest in saying this: our President is acting very presidential and is getting things done timely, efficiently, and thoroughly in dramatic fashion. He and the U.S. government are spot-on in dealing with federal and state experts regarding the medical necessities of people who are ill and also medical workers who are being exposed every day. For the American people, they are working around the clock to mitigate the personal and business economic damage being caused by this pandemic.
Never in modern history has a U.S. president dealt with anything like COVID-19. Speculate all you want. Listen to whoever you want. But take action on what you KNOW is right: we in America are in medical trouble!
My advice to all is to pay close attention to instructions given by local, state, and federal authorities. Stay close to news sources that deliver facts. I don’t know about you, but I get dozens and sometimes hundreds of emails and social media messages about first one theory and another. Often I get the same on ten times a day. Why is that? People are afraid.
It’s natural to fear the unknown. I suggest we all face it, address it with the knowledge that we have in our hands, trust those who are in the battle with and for us, and Pray!
Let us hear from you: Dan@TruthNewsNet.org.
We’re in this together!