Reports on the origin of COVID rule out conspiracy theories about the virus | Coronavirus pandemic news

0 18

The origins of COVID-19 remain hazy. Three years after the start of the pandemic, it is still not clear whether the coronavirus that causes the disease leaked from a laboratory or whether it spread to people from an animal.

This much is known: When it comes to COVID-19 misinformation, any new report about the origin of the virus quickly triggers a resurgence and return of false claims about the virus, vaccines and alien faces. has rebounded since the pandemic began.

It happened again this week after the US Department of Energy confirmed that a classified report concluded, with some confidence, that the virus escaped from a laboratory. Within hours, online references to conspiracy theories related to COVID-19 began to crop up, with many commentators claiming that the classified report was proof that they had been right all along. time

Far from definitive, the Energy Department report is the latest of many attempts by scientists and officials to pinpoint the origin of the virus, which has now killed nearly seven million people. after it was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019.

The report has not been made public, and officials in Washington stressed that several organizations in the United States do not agree on its origin. On Tuesday, FBI Director Christopher Wray told Fox News that the FBI “for some time now” has assessed that the origin of the pandemic “is likely to be a possible laboratory incident in Wuhan”.

But others in the US intelligence community disagree, and there is no consensus. Many scientists believe that the most likely explanation is that the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 jumped from animals to humans, possibly at Wuhan’s Huanan market, a scenario supported by several studies and reports. The World Health Organization has said that while an animal source remains the most likely, the possibility of a laboratory leak needs to be further investigated before it can be ruled out.

People should be open about the evidence used in the Department of Energy’s assessment, according to psychologist Angela Rasmussen. But she said, without evaluating the evidence contained in the classified report, there is no reason to challenge the conclusion that the virus spread naturally.

“We can and we know what the scientific evidence shows,” Rasmussen tweeted Tuesday. “Available evidence still points to zoonotic exposure at the Huanan market. “

But many of those who cited the report as proof of the evidence seemed uninterested. They accepted the report and said it shows the experts were wrong about masks and vaccines too.

Was COVID-19 created in a Wuhan laboratory?

“Closing schools was a failed and disastrous policy. Masks are ineffective. And harmful,” said a tweet that has been read nearly 300,000 times since Sunday. “COVID came from a lab. Everything we skeptics said was true.”

Total references to COVID-19 began to rise after the Wall Street Journal published a story about the Department of Energy report on Sunday. Since then, references to several conspiracy theories related to COVID have increased, according to a study conducted by Zignal Labs, a media intelligence company based in San Francisco, and shared by the Associated Press.

While the lab leak theory has bounced around the internet since the start of the pandemic, references to it increased by 100,000 percent in the 48 hours after the Energy Department report was released, according to a Zignal study , which has been combed through social media, blogs and other sites.

Many of the conspiracy theories contradict each other and the findings in the Department of Energy report. In a tweet on Tuesday, US Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican from Georgia, called COVID-19 a “bioweapon from China”. A fan quickly challenged her: “It was made in Ukraine,” he replied.

With so many questions remaining about a global event that has claimed so many lives and cost even more, it’s no wonder that COVID-19 is still able to generate so much anger and misinformation, according to Bret Schafer , a senior at the University. Alliance for Securing Democracy, a Washington, DC-based organization that has monitored government propaganda about COVID-19.

“The pandemic was so terrible for everyone. As intense as feelings are about COVID, I don’t think that’s going to go away,” Schafer said. “And whenever something new comes along, it breathes new life into those grievances and frustrations, real or imagined. “

Chinese government officials have previously used their social media accounts to promote anti-US conspiracy theories, including some who suggested that the US created and framed the COVID-19 virus released on China.

So far, they have taken a quieter approach to the Department of Energy report. In its official response, the Chinese government dismissed the agency’s assessment as an attempt to politicize the pandemic. Online, Beijing’s sprawling propaganda and disinformation network was largely silent, with only a few posts criticizing or mocking the report.

“BREAKING,” wrote a YouTuber for China on Twitter. “I can now announce, with ‘low confidence,’ that the COVID pandemic started as a leak from Hunter Biden’s laptop”, referring to a controversy over a computer left by the US president’s son at a shop repair.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.