Bizarre coronavirus conspiracy theories show real US

By Xu Keyue Source:Global Times Published: 2020/4/27 22:08:41

File photo shows Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, receiving an exclusive interview with Xinhua in Seattle, the United States, on Nov. 13, 2019. Photo: Xinhua

The bizarre rumors in the US with their crazy followers "present a real US amid the pandemic," an expert said, noting that the phenomenon shows the country has failed to properly prevent and control the epidemic. The worse the epidemic, the more Americans would follow conspiracy theories rather than medical science, Chinese experts warned.

The remarks were in response to rumors and conspiracy theories in the US, such as blaming billionaire Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates for the pandemic, and US President Donald Trump claiming injecting disinfectants can kill the virus, and 5G cell phone technology as being one of the causes of the virus.

It's not surprising that some US residents believe in the conspiracy theories and rumors as the country's authorities have adhered to such tactics, Shen Yi, an expert from Shanghai-based Fudan University, told the Global Times on Monday.

Anti-science thinking has long existed in some US educational institutes, and a few people have coerced religions to drive the public away from medical science during the epidemic, which has led to ignorant rumor followers, Shen said.

Also, major conservative pundits and other politicians incited the conspiracy theories of buck-passing, and their typical strategies include blaming certain people such as Gates and countries such as China, Shen said. 

"With such tricks and some media hype of conspiracy theories, how can the US public avoid being blind and believing in such rumors?" Shen asked.

Since the epidemic overwhelmed the US, conspiracy theories against Gates have been exploding online. On Saturday, protesters gathered at the Texas Capitol in Austin calling the pandemic a hoax and shouting "arrest Bill Gates," US media reported. Also, on Twitter, the topic "Bill Gates is evil" trended.

The popular conspiracy theories accused Gates of having prior knowledge of the pandemic, engineering the pandemic, and using the pandemic for profit or for population surveillance and control mechanisms.

However, the fact is Gates warned the public to prepare for a pandemic five years ago and he invested in developing a COVID-19 vaccine and a critical public health infrastructure in Africa and South Asia for the virus' onslaught, according to Fortune magazine which listed Gates as one of the "World's 25 Greatest Leaders: Heroes of the pandemic."

The rumors "present a real US amid the pandemic," Shen said, which reflects the country's failure to prevent and control the coronavirus.
Newspaper headline: Bizarre conspiracy theories show real US

Posted in: DIPLOMACY

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