Debunking COVID-19 Myths and Fake News
As COVID-19 spreads and infects and kills more and more people everyday throughout our nation, there are those who spread and repeat ridiculous myths and conspiracy theories about this virus and those irresponsible and false myths must be debunked.
There are many who hang out in these far right-wing circles who have a long history of spreading lies and conspiracy theories. They do it with other issues, not just this current situation and have done it for some time, hence why we have the Alex Jones and Breitbarts of the world. I in fact, have written a book debunking these falsehoods, a gun control book that debunks the pro-gun lies we hear so often.
It is no surprise that they started with their falsehoods about COVID-19 as well, just look at the Sandy Hook “hoax” spreaders for proof of this sect of our country who believe and spread these elements of fake news and who will use any tragedy for their own agenda.
This virus is real. People are dying. Lying about this virus makes it all worse.
Many of these myths and elements of fake news come from the right side of the aisle, the Trump side.
Most of them in fact (99%).
These conspiracies are dangerous. They are dangerous because they are not true, yet many people will believe them and then they will not be smart or careful and will make bad choices with their health and the health of others, and that can be catastrophic for everyone.
These people like to repeat what they heard Trump say or other Trump supporters and conspiracy theorists say and then that is how the myth and subsequent myths spread and make the situation worse, this is how people make bad choices that lead to worse consequences and at times, devastating ones.
“98.5% of People Survive”
This is the most spread myth that I have heard that is being circulated around with these conspiracy theorists and one that is completely false and to be quite honest, ridiculous. I mean, how absurd is it to say that a virus that has killed almost 300,000 people worldwide and more than 85,000 in this nation has a “high recovery rate”?
This is what these people do though. They lie and spread fake news.
The truth is, that we do not truly know what the survival rate of this virus is as this virus is as unpredictable as the weather. We never know who will survive this virus nor can we, viral illnesses cannot neatly be put into a box and that is why we simply do not know who will recover and be okay and who will die from COVID-19.
This was started by Dr. Ben Carson who in a Fox News interview said the following,”People are going to do quite well, and we need to really start talking that up, and talking about what we can do”. Carson, who as you know works for the Trump administration, falsely claimed that the recovery rate is 98.5 percent and then the many supporters of Trump did as they always do, repeat what each other say.
The real death rate is hard to determine, but many experts suggest that it is much higher than what is being projected, but still, they do not know what the real survival rate is, as it is hard to predict with a virus as unpredictable and ever changing as the Coronavirus is. In fact, experts at John Hopkins University predict it being around 5–7% and even some say it come be as high as 18%.
The truth is, we simply cannot predict who will survive and who will not and that is because it varies based on a variety of factors ranging from age to the health of a person to environmental and income factors. Many of the deaths are happening in people who do not have adequate access to healthcare and low income workers who work in essential jobs, many of them in marginalized minority communities.
“Recovery from COVID-19 is not a sure thing and other factors play a role and should be considered when discussing treatments and recovering from this illness” says Nicolette Anderson, researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Even if the recovery rate was 1.5%, that still is bad considering that would still be more than three million Americans who would perish from this disease and that can never be acceptable, or at least it should not be something that we accept and praise. The fact is that even with mild symptoms, this virus is a horrible experience and that should be acknowledged.
“More People Die from the Seasonal Flu”
The facts from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) debunk this myth in absolution.
In the United States, from October of 2019 until April of 2020, the CDC estimates that 24,000 to 62,000 Americans died from flu related causes in the U.S. and that number is much lower than the 85,000 who have died from the Coronavirus in the last four months and who will die from COVID when this is all said and done.
The conspirators also claim that “This is just the flu” when they talk about the symptoms of COVID-19 and that is also false. While some of the very early and mild symptoms of this virus are flu-like, the virus that we now know as the novel Coronavirus is much more serious than the flu and should never be compared to it.
The flu remains the same, with some flu seasons it can be more complex, but it is nothing compared to this virus. When these people compare it to the flu, it is important to counteract their myths with some basic flu facts that should shut them down and show them that this virus cannot in anyway be put in the same category as the flu.
For one, the flu has a vaccine and effective treatments and medicines that help reduce the duration and symptoms and COVID-19 has no vaccine and not one medication to treat it — that should be a simple fact that will shut down the fake news and lies, but it usually doesn’t as they continue to compare the two illnesses, when they cannot be compared.
TamiFlu is one treatment for the flu, COVID-19 has no such treatment, or any medication that will reduce duration and symptoms.
Dr Fauci, epidemiologist and infectious disease expert, says that the flu is less contagious than the Coronavirus and the so-called “1% mortality rate” of COVID-19 still makes it ten times more lethal than the flu, so to say that the flu kills more is false and irresponsible to say, yet these people continue to repeat it and that is largely because they are getting their information from those who do not know what they are talking about.
The people who spread most of these myths get their info from Trump, their heroic leader.
He was the first to spread this falsehood when he said that COVID-19 was nothing more than “A harmless flu”.
It may have flu-like symptoms at times, but it is much more serious, deadly and contagious than the flu and should never, ever be compared to it and doing so is irresponsible and false. This virus kills people and shuts down countries and the flu never did that. The flu has a vaccine and has some really good treatments and is not spread so easily.
It is a lie and a myth that this is “the same as the flu” and we must call out the people who compare the two as there is NO comparison.
“Hydroxychloroquine Cures COVID-19”
Hydroxychoroquine and to a lesser degree, Chloroquine, have been promoted by Trump as a cure for COVID-19 and since his promotion of these two meds there have been others who have jumped on board and claimed that these two drugs were miracle cures of the Coronavirus, and there has been zero medical evidence to support any of this.
Of course, as always, when trump says something then it quickly gets spread around by his supporters and far-right media outlets and suddenly, people take what he says as truth and that is why this entire pandemic has been so awful for so many, he spreads many lies about the virus and this is one of the more dangerous lies that come from him.
People have been taking these medications to cure their Coronavirus symptoms and have had horrible results. The fact is that these meds are meant to treat inflammation and high fevers in malaria patients and have no evidence behind them that suggests they do anything positive for those who are infected with COVID-19, and in fact have been shown to make the virus worse in many.
The original studies done on them were small case studies and only showed slight positive results, but then as doctors began to use these medicines to treat COVID-19 in patients in hospital settings, they noticed that they did not have any evidence of helping those patients and in many cases, they made the patients worse and worsened symptoms, not to mention that side effects like renal failure and liver damage posed life-threatening issues.
Trump owns stock in the company that makes these medicines, so he had a reason to push them so much, and his supporters take anything he says as if they were said by Jesus himself and that is how this dangerous myth about treatment for Coronavirus got spread and why so many falsely claim that it cures the virus, when we know that nothing does.
“UV-Light Kills the Virus”
Another dangerous myth and another one that came from no other than Donald Trump.
At a press briefing, it was Trump who once again made a ridiculous claim about a treatment for the virus when he said that injecting disinfectants and using UV-lights on inside of the body could kill the virus and cure people who were sick, and once again he was wrong.
Injecting chemicals into the body is dangerous and deadly. Of course, as they always do, his supporters claimed that he never said that and it was not what he meant to say. They said that “He was being sarcastic” and then said that “He never said it”.
Which is it Trump supporters?
The fact is that sunlight or any type of heat does not cure the virus and it can in fact make it worse and kill people. The idea that any kind of heat could make a viral illness better is ludicrous and goes against basic knowledge of science and anyone who suggests these things should never speak on these matters again.
Besides not working, UV light comes with some serious health risks like damage skin cells and lead to skin cancer and other serious problems that can be detrimental to a person’s health and even life threatening in many cases, it is upsetting that anyone, especially the President of the United States would suggest that these methods would work to cure this virus.
“Children Cannot Get the Virus”
Another lie. All age groups can get this virus. There have been children who have died from this illness and who also can get extremely sick and spread it to others. These myths are dangerous and this one specifically is very much dangerous as it will make people think that kids can go to school freely and that they are not at risk, which is not true.
Now, children have been presenting at emergency rooms with respiratory issues and high fevers and several kids in NYC and other places have gone on to develop a disease called Kawasaki Disease, a rare condition that causes inflammation around the walls of arteries and other problems in children under 5-years old.
Children get this virus and complications from the virus and get very sick and this is another fact.
“Only Older adults and those Sick are at Risk”
Similar to the children myth, this is also a dangerous myth. Everyone is at risk and every age group faces serious risk of developing major illness and even death if they contact the virus. The myth that only those in certain age groups or with certain health conditions are in risk groups is one that we must stop doing as it is not true.
People in every age group and even healthy and young people can get COVID-19 and get very sick and even die. There have been several younger and healthy people who have become very sick and even died from this virus and that should be all the more reason to protect everyone and do our part to prevent and slow the spread.
This one here I am really getting sick and tired of hearing as it is completely ridiculous and unproven.
Herd immunity is the idea that if enough people have recovered from the virus and developed immunity to it so that now they cannot infect other people or get sick again themselves.
I hear this one going around a lot by people on Fox News and on Donald Trump’s personal page and it is completely false. There is zero evidence of this being fact, yet they continue to push it and I know why, they are trying to convince people that it is safe to go back out.
The only way to prevent people from becoming infected is to follow the rules of social distancing and wearing a mask and these are what we have to keep people safe. The myths of herd immunity or immunity at all is fake news and has no basis in science and epidemiology as that is not how infectious diseases work — especially with extremely contagious diseases like this one.
“Look at Sweden”
It is quite funny how conservatives like to use places like Sweden to further their agenda, but never want to when we point out at socialism and gun control work in those places.
They tried with COVID-19 to use Sweden as an example why not having things like lockdowns and social distancing work and the so-called “herd immunity” stops the spread of the virus, but in the end, they failed and the ‘Sweden Model” end up being not so good after all and blew up in the face of Swedish leaders.
Sweden now leads the world in death rate from COVID and cases and deaths continue to rise and that is because they did not lockdown and they did not put public health first. The lockdowns are meant to slow the spread and flatten the curve and in the case of Sweden, their resistance to get on board with shelter-in-place measures backfired and now they are seeing the virus spread throughout their country.
“The Numbers are being Padded”
Talk about conspiracy theories. This one is one that is way out there and is completely disrespectful the victims and people who have it and again, no basis in truth or science.
The liars on the right say that liberals are “padding” the numbers so they can have mail-in voting and cheat, shut down Trump’s economy, and take over the country and none of these reasons make any sense nor is the lie that anyone is adding to the numbers true — none of it.
The numbers are the numbers.
Thousands die daily and tens of thousands become infected every single week in this country.
This is a fact.
Nobody is adding to any numbers and there is no conspiracy and in fact, many of the numbers are undercounted. We do not know how many get the virus and with so many false negative results and a serious lack in testing, the number of people who are sick with this and who die from the Coronavirus is much higher than current counts and estimates.
There are so many myths and lies and fake news stories about COVID-19 that are being put out there by the right and these methods of reporting have one thing in common and that is they all have an agenda to re-elect Donald Trump at all costs and to ignore science and our public health crisis that the Trump administration has completely ignored and the deaths that have happened on his watch.
I simply posted a handful of lies that are being spread about this virus, but as you can see, there are hundreds of them circulating on YouTube by Alex Jones types and pro-Trump, anti-science type of people and all of them pose a threat to public health and safety and to what is best for our country, our world, and our planet.
That is a FACT!