Top Conspiracy Theories Surrounding the Coronavirus Pandemic
The novel coronavirus has dealt severe blows to the world not only through thousands of deaths but also through conspiracies largely attributed to geopolitical motives. By and large, there has been a series of conspiracy theories championed by various influential countries and sadly, these theories have surfaced on both social networks and traditional media outlets.
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While it is worthy of note that these conspiracy theories hardly hold genuine evidence about the root cause of coronavirus, here are the top conspiracy theories surrounding the pandemic:
This conspiracy theory about COVID-19 is associated with allegations that humans intentionally created the virus. Although the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE 2) was experimented as having strong affinity binding to COVID-19’s peplomers, a publication by Nature Medicine has condemned the theory that coronavirus was created by man. Similarly, a report in Financial Times cited Trevor Bedford’s, a COVID-19 investigator, statement that no proof of genetic engineering has emerged whatsoever and that the only proof at hand is that coronavirus’ mutations are absolutely “consistent with natural evaluation”.
Chinese Biological Weapon
According to a January publication by BBC News, the Washington Times is said to have published “misinformation” articles alleging that coronavirus constituted a Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) program on Chinese biological weapons. Afterwards, an article published by Washington Post regarded the conspiracy theory as false and quoted the analysis of two US experts regarding reasons why the WIV was not an appropriate institute for bioweapon research.
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US Biological Weapon (Russia-associated Conspiracy)
There have also been conspiracy theories involving the US and Russia wherein the former accused Russia of championing a disinformation scheme conveyed on social media, hence indicating that (i) the United States is using coronavirus to engage China in economic war, and that (ii) coronavirus is a CIA-developed biological weapon.
In response to the accusation the United States filed against it, Russia released a statement of denial, indicating that the allegation by the US “is a deliberately false story”. According to Wikipedia, an article titled “Coronavirus: American biological warfare against Russia and China” was published by Zvezda –a news medium operating under the auspices of the Russian Defence Ministry. The article is said to have claimed that coronavirus was aimed at destroying China’s economy.
Conspiracy Theories in Ukraine
Conspiracy theories have also emerged in Ukraine where Kyiv Post is said to have revealed two online theories, one of them being that coronavirus was a bioweapon which emanated from a Wuhan-based covert lab. The other theory is that the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic was foretold in The Eyes of Darkness –a 1981 novel by Dean Koontz of the United States.
Conspiracy Theories in India
Conspiracy theories about coronavirus have also emerged in India where rumours across social media regarded the virus as a bioweapon orchestrated by the state and which became “rogue”. Similarly in India, there were videos purporting that Chinese authorities were trying to stave off the virus’ spread by killing citizens.
Notably, these Indian conspiracy theories regarding COVID-19 are within the context of the country’s rising Sinophobia.
Considering how world powers have shifted the blame for coronavirus outbreak to each other, it is quite difficult to state the actual root cause of the virus. Obviously, there are a handful of conspiracy theories about the virus and if these theories are thoroughly analysed, one could argue that the world powers are only taking advantage of the virus to continue nursing their long-standing rivalry.
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