Coronavirus and Conspiracy Theories

Let me state clearly that early on many people from science and medicine downplayed, for a short time, the danger of COVID-19. All the mainstream media outlets did as well. However, unlike those mentioned above (certainly not an exhaustive list), the views about the coronavirus changed. People like Dr. Anthony Fauci, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director, began warnings of the disease and how deadly it may be for the U.S. population.

It is those who refused to clearly place the conspiracy theories in the trash can that keeps some of these theories running through the conscience of Americans. There are also the theories put forth by the kook fringe extreme right, like QAnon, that are so stupid that it makes other conspiracy theories look rational (Flat Earthers, and Moon landing deniers are examples).

It’s the Flu:

What are some of these theories? There is the theory that the disease is no worse than the seasonal flu. Just ask President Trump or some of the Fox News talking heads. They have, even after being proven wrong, continued to spout this nonsense at times. Isn’t that right Mr. President? It indicates that there may be something wrong with their critical thinking skills.

Hydroxychloroquine is the Cure:

Another theory is one pushed, even now by President Trump and Laura Ingraham (of Fox News), that the drug hydroxychloroquine is a cure for the coronavirus or can be taken as a preventative to contracting the disease. This goes against the science and studies about the drug, which is normally used to treat or prevent malaria. It is also used by lupus and arthritis suffers. The science says that hydroxychloroquine is NOT effective against the coronavirus. In fact, a woman in Wisconsin, who has taken hydroxychloroquine for almost 20 years to treat her lupus has been diagnosed with the coronavirus. These people need to stop lying to the people before their “advice” kills someone.

White People are Immune:

Another conspiracy theory, this one by the adherents to the QAnon kooks, is that “that Asians were more susceptible to the coronavirus and that white people were immune to COVID-19,” according to an article on The Conversation website. Not only is that belief racist, but it is just plain wrong. What do you expect from a group that believes in a, “conspiracy theory known, now famously, as Pizzagate, which claimed that Hillary Clinton was running a child sex ring out of Comet Ping Pong.” Comet Ping Pong is a pizzeria in Washington, D.C. QAnon has more wild theories, which I may take on in a future article.

It’s a Plot to Stop Trump’s Reelection:

Eric Trump, one of President Trump’s sons, recently spewed out a new theory during a Fox News interview with Jeanine Pirro. In the interview Trump said that Democrats are trying to drag out the pandemic to hurt Donald Trump. The Democrats don’t need to do anything to tarnish Donald Trump, he manages to do that all by himself. One thing the Trumps share is their ability to manufacture excuses and explanations out of whole cloth!

Even More Conspiracy Theories:

The idiocy of the conspiracy theories goes on. Remember when it was said by President Trump, that the coronavirus was created in a lab in Wuhan, China? The President contradicted his own intelligence professionals. How about the theory that Bill Gates is responsible for the origin of the coronavirus. Any port in a storm, as the saying goes. There doesn’t seem to be any lack of conspiracy theories. You can read about them here.

Vaccine Development:

It is really difficult to put some of the theories to rest when President Trump won’t let them die or tell the nation, unequivocally, that they are false. Worse, we are not out of the woods and it is not known when a vaccine will be discovered, if at all. According to the NBC News website, “William Haseltine, who has also worked on human genome projects, said that while a COVID-19 vaccine could be developed, “I wouldn’t count on it.” Instead, he told Reuters, countries beginning to reverse lockdown measures need to lean on careful tracing of infections and strict isolation measures to control the spread.”

There is ongoing research and development into finding a vaccine. According to an article on Nature.com website there are more than 90 vaccines in development, at least six of which “are already being tested for safety in people.”

Let us hope for success by one or more of this research and development projects. I would think that Mr. Haseltine wouldn’t mind being proven wrong.

In the End:

In the end these theories will exist, even long after the coronavirus becomes no more serious than seasonal flu. How long will that be is anyone’s guess. I wonder what the history books will say 100 years from now about COVID-19. I certainly hope that somewhere in the history lessons that these conspiracy theories, and any new ones they come up with, will be explained in a way that shows how a pandemic can bring rise to unrealistic fears. Granted, there has always been conspiracy theories. I’m willing to bet good money that there will always be conspiracy theories arising in the minds of the intellectually challenged.

Until next time

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