Since the start of the outbreak in November 2019, the 2019 Novel Coronavirus has spread to almost every country across the globe. As infection rates edge closer to the 1,000,000 mark, with deaths nearing 60,000. This pandemic is unprecedented. While the exact origin of the virus is still unknown, it’s been argued that the virus originated from a wildlife and seafood market in Wuhan, Hubei. Still, conspiracy theories about its true origins abound. Let’s take a look at some of the wackiest ideas out there, even for coronavirus conspiracy theories (like, did China plan this whole thing?).
Where did the Coronavirus start?
There are two main conspiracy theories, and they both have the same starting point: that the virus was man made in a level 4 research lab in Wuhan.
In one version of the rumour, Covid-19 is reported to have been developed in the lab to be used as a bioweapon. The other version argues that it was being studied in the lab, and then “leaked” because of poor safety protocol.
The rumour-mill has been turning relentlessly, and new conspiracy theories about the virus’ origins are surfacing everyday. With that being said, these two are arguably the most popular and widespread.
So, let’s look into the argument that China developed the virus as a bioweapon. Some proponents of the idea argue that China released Covid-19 as a way to take control of the stock markets. Compared to the rest of the world, the Chinese stock markets have fared relatively well in the face of the virus. Could they have developed Covid-19 as a way to outperform other economies?
The Wuhan Virology lab has had leakages before. The second argument, which was proposed by Steven Mosher (more on him later), looks at how Covid-19 could have been manufactured in a lab, and then accidentally leaked by researchers.
Who’s spreading rumours about COVID-19?
Now let’s take a look at who is actually spreading false information about the origins of Covid-19.
A number of prominent US politicians have been spouting the bioweapon theory.
“It probably is a ChiCom laboratory experiment that is in the process of being weaponized,” right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh said. “All superpower nations weaponize bioweapons.”
In the New York Post, Steven Mosher, a known critic of China’s population control measures, wrote a piece that stoked the flames about the “leakage” rumour.
Everyone needs to work together to tackle this fast
It’s difficult to see so much anti-China sentiment coming out of (particularly) the States, when they’re struggling to get this crisis under control. While cases have been declining in China for a while now, the US has yet to see the peak of its infections. Poor government handling of the situation shows that they, like Italy, will be hit hard. So, did China plan this whole thing? As far as coronavirus conspiracy theories go, this one is certainly rooted in racism and xenophobia. Yikes.