The COVID-19 (Wuhan Coronavirus) Outbreak: Conspiracy Theories & Claims

Min Bannister

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Oh, they did hire trainees. Well, post-docs, anyway. Inexperienced post-docs, though. Hmm, Schroedinger's scientist: simultaneously post-doc and inexperienced.
I don't know about the rest of the article but this bit is definitely possible. I am dealing with one of those right now. He is a real menace as he thinks he knows it all.

(Don't worry, I do not work in a deadly virus research lab)
 

gordonrutter

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So, there’s a Biotech company in Shanghai called RLSW and this is its logo

11767F54-833F-448E-AB82-C39E8826FBC5.jpeg


This is an issue because in Racoon City we have a Biotech company who has this as their logo
6F615949-C76C-450D-9FB3-BCE91091042C.jpeg


And the above shown Umbrella Corporation has a poor health and safety record. And Racoon is an anagram of corona...
 
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Mythopoeika

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Oh dear. Those films were documentaries!
 

James_H

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People in Hong Kong are upset that the government hasn't closed the border with China - however, if they did it would be seen as a political move and would get a lot of flak from the mainland so it's a lose-lose situation. Due to recent events, conspiracy thinking has become quite mainstream in Hong Kong so there are all sorts of rumours flying about.

I just got this on whatsapp, I guess I'll find out if it's true in less than ten hours:

WhatsApp Image 2020-01-30 at 13.58.08.jpeg
 

EnolaGaia

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... And Racoon is an anagram of corona...
The Resident Evil locale is spelled using the dominant spelling "Raccoon", which isn't an anagram for "corona."
 

Mythopoeika

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The Resident Evil locale is spelled using the dominant spelling "Raccoon", which isn't an anagram for "corona."
It's an anagram for Ccorona...?
 

EnolaGaia

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An old quack medicine "conspiracy" (to make money) has re-surfaced in relation to the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak.

Don't fall for it, kids!
Conspiracy Theorists Say a Dangerous Bleach Solution Can 'Cure' The Wuhan Coronavirus

As new cases of the Wuhan coronavirus are reported across the globe, online bootleggers are cashing in on another opportunity to sell a dangerous bleach cocktail that they claim can cure malaria, cancer, the flu, and even autism.

Now proponents are claiming the chlorine dioxide treatment can also cure or protect against the coronavirus.

But the FDA has warned that, not only is there no known cure for the virus, but the industrial bleach solution could have grave consequences, such as liver failure and extremely low blood pressure.

The "miracle mineral solution," as it's known online (MMS for short), is a solution of 28 percent sodium chlorite in distilled water. It's sold online for around US$28 for a 4-ounce (118-ml) bottle.

Consumers are instructed to "activate" the product by adding citric acid like lemon or lime juice (which are sometimes sold separately for an additional fee).

Proponents, including QAnon supporters, falsely claim it works because it contains compounds that are supposedly deadly to pathogens, but harmless to healthy tissue.

Health officials have been playing whack-a-mole with MMS since 2010

Public health officials started taking action to debunk health claims about MMS in 2010, with warnings issued in the US, the UK, and Canada.

But the internet fad has persisted.

Last year, the FDA urged Americans not to drink the dangerous chemical cocktail after receiving reports of people experiencing severe vomiting, diarrhea, life-threateningly low blood pressure, and acute liver failure after drinking the concoction.

On January 22, however, MMS proponents emerged again, piggybacking on growing fears surrounding the coronavirus.
FULL STORY: https://www.sciencealert.com/a-dang...as-a-coronavirus-cure-by-conspiracy-theorists
 

James_H

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As for rumours, conspiracy theories etc – I've heard from both Chinese and Thai people that this disease 'only affects asians'. I said wasn't there a case in the UK? They said yes, it was a Chinese person.
 
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Indrid Drood

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(from Bats, Gene Editing and Bioweapons: Recent DARPA Experiments Raise Concerns Amid Coronavirus Outbreak)

The Pentagon in Wuhan?
Beyond the U.S. military’s recent expenditures on and interest in the use of bats of bioweapons, it is also worth examining the recent studies the military has funded regarding bats and “novel coronaviruses,” such as that behind the recent outbreak, that have taken place within or in close proximity to China.

For instance, one study conducted in Southern China in 2018 resulted in the discovery of 89 new “novel bat coronavirus” strains that use the same receptor as the coronavirus known as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). That study was jointly funded by the Chinese government’s Ministry of Science and Technology, USAID — an organization long alleged to be a front for U.S. intelligence, and the U.S. National Institute of Health — which has collaborated with both the CIA and the Pentagon on infectious disease and bioweapons research.

The authors of the study also sequenced the complete genomes for two of those strains and also noted that existing MERS vaccines would be ineffective in targeting these viruses, leading them to suggest that one should be developed in advance. This did not occur.

Another U.S. government-funded study that discovered still more new strains of “novel bat coronavirus” was published just last year. Titled “Discovery and Characterization of Novel Bat Coronavirus Lineages from Kazakhstan,” focused on “the bat fauna of central Asia, which link China to eastern Europe” and the novel bat coronavirus lineages discovered during the study were found to be “closely related to bat coronaviruses from China, France, Spain, and South Africa, suggesting that co-circulation of coronaviruses is common in multiple bat species with overlapping geographical distributions.” In other words, the coronaviruses discovered in this study were identified in bat populations that migrate between China and Kazakhstan, among other countries, and is closely related to bat coronaviruses in several countries, including China.

The study was entirely funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, specifically the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) as part of a project investigating coronaviruses similar to MERS, such as the aforementioned 2018 study. Yet, beyond the funding of this 2019 study, the institutions involved in conducting this study are also worth noting given their own close ties to the U.S. military and government.

The study’s authors are affiliated with either the Kazakhstan-based Research Institute for Biological Safety Problems and/or Duke University. The Research Institute for Biological Safety Problems, though officially a part of Kazakhstan’s National Center for Biotechnology, has received millions from the U.S. government, most of it coming from the Pentagon’s Cooperative Threat Reduction Program. It is the Kazakhstan government’s official depository of “highly dangerous animal and bird infections, with a collection of 278 pathogenic strains of 46 infectious diseases.” It is part of a network of Pentagon-funded “bioweapons labs” throughout the Central Asian country, which borders both of the U.S.’ top rival states — China and Russia.

Duke University’s involvement with this study is also interesting given that Duke is a key partner of DARPA’s Pandemic Prevention Platform (P3) program, which officially aims “to dramatically accelerate discovery, integration, pre-clinical testing, and manufacturing of medical countermeasures against infectious diseases.” The first step of the Duke/DARPA program involves the discovery of potentially threatening viruses and “develop[ing] methods to support viral propagation, so that virus can be used for downstream studies.”

Duke University is also jointly partnered with China’s Wuhan University, which is based in the city where the current coronavirus outbreak began, which resulted in the opening of the China-based Duke Kunshan University (DKU) in 2018. Notably, China’s Wuhan University — in addition to its partnership with Duke — also includes a multi-lab Institute of Medical Virology that has worked closely with the US Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases since the 1980s, according to its website. As previously noted, the USAMRIID facility in the U.S. was shut down last July for failures to abide by biosafety and proper waste disposal procedures, but was allowed to partially resume some experiments late last November.


Full article here
 

AlchoPwn

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As for rumours, conspiracy theories etc – I've heard from both Chinese and Thai people that this disease 'only affects asians'. I said wasn't there a case in the UK? They said yes, it was a Chinese person.
Yeah, they may think it is a targeted biological attack, but it is unlikely to be, as it simply isn't lethal enough. I mean, if you are going to use a targeted biological agent to commit genocide on a phenotype, you had better make the disease a lot more lethal. The whole "most infectious during incubation" is a preferred trait for anyone playing Plague Inc and hoping to wipe out humanity tho, so good choice there. If there prove to be no non-asian infections it may in fact be wise to start pointing fingers a little, but all indications are that Novel Coronavirus is presently highly infectious and potentially lethal to anybody of any race.
 
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Tribble

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There's allegations that the Chinese government are doing a Mary King's Close on virus sufferers.

Chinese authorities have been accused of leaving people to ‘starve and die’ after shocking videos emerged of police barricading families into their homes to stop the spread of coronavirus. Footage sent to Metro.co.uk shows masked men nailing huge metal bars over the doors and windows of people feared to be infected with the deadly disease. In one, a woman can be heard screaming and pleading as uniformed officers lock her inside. A sign outside her sealed off door reads: ‘This family came back from Wuhan. Stay away, no contact’.

https://metro.co.uk/2020/02/02/wuha...e-authorities-barricade-inside-home-12162599/
 

ramonmercado

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The phishers are getting in on the act.

Amid international efforts to contain transmission of the virus, online scammers have already begun exploiting the uncertainty and fear.

A sample phishing email from Tuesday, detected by security firm Mimecast, shows attackers disseminating malicious links and PDFs that claim to contain information on how to protect yourself from the spread of the disease. "Go through the attached document on safety measures regarding the spreading of corona virus," reads the message, which purports to come from a virologist. "This little measure can save you."

Email scammers often try to elicit a sense of fear and urgency in victims. It's not surprising that they would attempt to incorporate the coronavirus into that playbook so quickly. But the move illustrates how phishing attempts so consistently hew to certain time-tested topics and themes.

"Unfortunately we see this often in geopolitical events and world events," says Francis Gaffney, the director of threat intelligence at Mimecast. "This is when cybercriminals seek opportunities to use the confusion that vulnerable people have. They’ll click on links because they’re not sure."

https://www.wired.com/story/coronavirus-phishing-scams/
 

blessmycottonsocks

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There's allegations that the Chinese government are doing a Mary King's Close on virus sufferers.

Chinese authorities have been accused of leaving people to ‘starve and die’ after shocking videos emerged of police barricading families into their homes to stop the spread of coronavirus. Footage sent to Metro.co.uk shows masked men nailing huge metal bars over the doors and windows of people feared to be infected with the deadly disease. In one, a woman can be heard screaming and pleading as uniformed officers lock her inside. A sign outside her sealed off door reads: ‘This family came back from Wuhan. Stay away, no contact’.

https://metro.co.uk/2020/02/02/wuha...e-authorities-barricade-inside-home-12162599/
And China has the nerve to accuse the USA of overreacting.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-51353279
 

James_H

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Another conspiracy theory from a colleague: there were protests in Wuhan just prior to the outbreak (look it up, it's true). The virus is either a punishment or a distraction in response to these protests.
 

Cochise

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An old quack medicine "conspiracy" (to make money) has re-surfaced in relation to the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak.

Don't fall for it, kids!


FULL STORY: https://www.sciencealert.com/a-dang...as-a-coronavirus-cure-by-conspiracy-theorists
Apparently the rumour comes around because some bleaches say on the container that they kill coronavirus germs. They mean of course if you wipe the bleach on door handles etc. the germs will be destroyed. They don't mean you should drink the stuff. :headbang:
 

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Mythopoeika

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Coronavirus whistleblower doctor Li Wenliang dies from infection in Wuhan, local hospital says
A Wuhan hospital says a Chinese doctor who blew the whistle on the outbreak of coronavirus only to be reprimanded by police has died from the virus, amid confusion over earlier reports of his death and then resuscitation.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-07/doctor-who-warned-of-coronavirus-dies-in-china/11941948
He was only 34! It must be pretty serious if a young man dies from it.
 

skinny

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Either that or .... :wear:

I wouldn't be in the least surprised if it was :wear:, the slippery buggers.
 

Ermintruder

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A Wuhan hospital says a Chinese doctor who blew the whistle on the outbreak of coronavirus only to be reprimanded by police has died from the virus, amid confusion over earlier reports of his death and then resuscitation
He's listed as being an opthalmologist. Yet the article indicates he was "keen to get back to fighting the virus on the front line". Whilst he will have of course possessed relevant core medical skills, is this not an odd specialisation to be in such a lead role?

Note that he is being credited as the first identifier of the outbreak...an >optical< specialist.

Apparently he was giving out sage advice that "masks should be worn to reduce infection"- really? This all either slips into the realms of deliberate disinformation, mistranslation or something else altogether.
 

Comfortably Numb

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Perhaps an intriguing article, with more detail regarding the enforced letter.

Wuhan Gets Its First Virus Martyr

The coronavirus has killed an early whistleblower. The question now is whether Beijing celebrates his sacrifice—or buries his story.

Source: foreignpolicy.com
Date: 6 February, 2020

The coronavirus that first erupted in the central Chinese city of Wuhan only made global news in late January. But Li Wenliang tried to raise the alarm on it in December. He was one of eight doctors who posted accounts of the virus online, fearing that it showed human-to-human transmission. The response from the local government was to send police to threaten him and force him to sign a statement saying he wouldn’t make further trouble. The written statement said, “We solemnly warn you: If you keep being stubborn, with such impertinence, and continue this illegal activity, you will be brought to justice—is that understood?”

Li is now dead. His death was reported this morning by multiple outlets, including the highly respected Caixin and the party-owned Global Times. As news of his death spread like wildfire on social media, however, previous reports were deleted, as were threads about him—one of which had recorded 5 million comments—and the claim was put out that he had been “resuscitated” though was still “in critical condition.” It may be that Li was truly lingering on the edge of death. Or it may be that the government was terrified of the possibility of making a martyr. There are claims that Li’s body was literally strapped back into life support when the extent of public anger online became clear. In the end, his employer stated he had died at 2:58 am Friday.

Li was confirmed to have the virus on Feb. 1. At just 34 years old, Li is one of the youngest known victims of the coronavirus. He is not the first medical worker to die, which was the 62-year-old Liang Wudong, and he will not be the last. There are estimates that over 500 health care workers are already infected. It may be that official media is struggling to find a line to tell his story. While the whistleblowers have won applause from a central government eager to blame the local authorities for the failure, spreading news of his death is clearly much riskier, especially as Beijing cracks down on journalists, doctors, and ordinary citizens speaking out.

https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/02/06/li-wenliang-coronavirus-lies-wuhan-gets-its-first-virus-martyr/
 

Ermintruder

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Aha....but: I thought that 'Wuhan' as a geographic location identifier was already intrinsically-linked to biological warfare?

I mean in the sense of it being an actual (or at least, open-source western-intelligence-services identified-by&declared-as-being-such) facility for weaponisable biological warfare AND an analogue of the US Center For Disease Control?
https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/jan/24/virus-hit-wuhan-has-two-laboratories-linked-chines/

So Wuhan is theoretically (if ambient pre-'outbreak' reporting can be believed) the near equivalent of Porton Down*, the home of the UK's biological warfare capabilities.

The point being (just in this context) that a thriller author referencing Wuhan with biological warfare (or virology) in China >might< be as teasingly-innocuous as mentioning Murmansk in relation to Russian naval operations.

(*some nice pubs around Porton, such as the Black 'Orse and the Winterborne Arms, I believe. It's just a nice 15min taxi run from the larger hotels in Salisbury....probably well-worth the journey, if you're needing a break from the city)
 

James_H

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Someone on 4chan reckons they're burning tens of thousands of bodies outside Wuhan.

 

Schrodinger's Zebra

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This is an interesting read on the subject. The Lancet models quoted, f true, are extremely worrying.
Hmmm interesting indeed. And this article makes mention of the crematoriums working non-stop, just as mentioned in the 4Chan links above. (Not that I trust anything from 4Chan, but still...)

:thought:

EDIT: If this Taiwan News can be trusted/believed, which it may not be (thanks for the heads up Yithian).
 

Yithian

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This is an interesting read on the subject. The Lancet models quoted, f true, are extremely worrying.
Read the Lancet by all means, but don't give any credit to Taiwanese articles on mainland China or vice-versa.

'May' becomes 'probably will', 'probably will' becomes 'inevitably will' and simple cock-up is attributed to malice.

My experience is once you strip out the spin, you discover there is no substance at the heart.
 

Yithian

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For instance:

Both the U.S. and the U.K. have gone against WHO advice and advised against all but essential travel to the whole of China. Other countries, including Australia, New Zealand, and Italy have banned all flights from China, and any foreign traveler who has visited China in the past 14 days is not permitted to enter these or many other countries, including Taiwan.
Why do these governments feel they need to take these steps when the WHO has actively discouraged them from doing so? The only possible reason is that they have an idea of the true extent of the coronavirus outbreak and little or no faith in the WHO's work to prevent its spread.

The only possible reason?

How about it being they're simply erring on the side of over-caution when dealing with a potentially deadly virus?

'Little or no faith'?

I learnt this in an EFL class and I've been itching to use it in an article...
 
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