This episode of Stuff They Don’t Want You To Know was recorded before the coronavirus was named a pandemic, so some of the information about the numbers of cases around the world and the percentage of lives claimed by COVID-19 is a little outdated. But the conspiracy theories about this infection are still actively making the rounds on the Internet, and our hosts Ben Bowlin, Noel Brown, and Matt Frederick take a look at the proven coverups, the rumors, and what could still be happening behind the scenes. Was coronavirus developed in a lab by the Chinese or American government to release as a bioweapon? Were pharmaceutical companies involved in some capacity? Did they release it on purpose, or by accident? Or could this catastrophic event simply provide a convenient excuse for governments all over the world to clamp down on human rights?
It’s well-known by now that the coronavirus first started spreading in the Wuhan district in China, and early on, a doctor named Li Wenliang told some other doctors in a chat thread to start wearing protective gear in hospitals. He was arrested for “rumor-mongering” and had to sign a “letter of admonition” saying he would never mention the infection again, Noel tells us – the infection that would later claim his life. A few other prominent activists, protesting the government’s handling of the epidemic, went silent as well. “This is a proven conspiracy,” Ben says emphatically, that the Chinese government worked to cover up the extent of the disease.
There are other, unproven conspiracy theories as well, like Russia’s theory that President Donald Trump and the American government actually created the disease as a bioweapon; their evidence is that “corona” means “crown” in Russian and Latin, and Trump used to crown the winners of the Miss Universe pageant. Ignoring that specious argument, the guys point out that a bioweapon would target “people who can reproduce...people of fighting age,” and COVID-19 does the most harm to the elderly and people with already compromised immune systems, so it isn’t a terribly effective weapon.
Still, whether it was developed in a lab as a weapon or occurred naturally, the pandemic is providing a convenient cover for other activities – people making “the best out of some bad lemonade,” as Ben puts it. The Chinese government undertook the most ambitious quarantine in history, and he points out that anything could be happening behind those closed doors, from rounding up dissidents to ethnic cleansing. And when, he asks, was the last time we heard about the protests in Hong Kong, or the Uighur Muslim camps? Could this just be a chance to take care of some problems they already had, or was that the plan all along? Listen to this episode for more details about these theories on Stuff They Don’t Want You To Know.
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