If you were wise enough to avoid social media over the weekend, and/or keep a tight circle of friends, you might not be aware of the rapid diffusion of the Covid-19 conspiracy doco, Plandemic. Facebook and YouTube are currently trying but failing to scrub the video from their platforms, as they are outpaced by an alliance of anti-vaxxers and don’t-tread-on-me sympathisers.
At one point, Plandemic makes the bizarre claim that wearing face masks “literally activates your own virus. You’re getting sick from your own reactivated coronavirus expressions,” and this is where it fell foul of social media Covid-19 misinformation guidelines. However, the film makes an impressive array of other bizarre claims.
Most of these originate with central interviewee, Judy Mikovits. The story begins in the early 1980s when, fresh from graduating with a Bachelor of Science in 1980, Mikovits paints herself as the forefront of AIDS research. The documentary claims that her findings were quashed by none other than Anthony Fauci, director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
Fauci is one of the most prominent members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force. He has literally laughed at Donald Trump during their joint press conferences on Covid-19.
Flash forward to the 21st century and Mikovits claims that SARS-CoV-2 was released from the Wuhan virology lab. This lab was granted $3.7m for research into SARS coronaviruses by the NIAID, still headed up by none other than … Anthony Fauci!
Don’t you see?? The man must be a genocidal maniac! No? Well, you’re not likely to get any more convinced.
Plandemic also says that “their” plans for global vaccination “will kill millions, as they already have.” It says that ebola was manipulated in US Army labs; “ebola couldn’t inflect human cells until we took it in the laboratories.”
Italy supposedly was hit hard because of a flu vaccine used at the beginning of 2019: “That vaccine was grown in a cell line, a dog cell line – dogs have lots of coronaviruses.”
The gist of all this, of course, is that “fear is a great way to control people” and “your liberties are being taken away from you,” etc.
Plandemic also argues that coronavirus deaths are being over-counted, when they’re known to be under-counted. And it quotes a succession of anonymous figures over video link to argue that hydroxychloroquine is “working great” as a Covid-19 treatment.
The most prominent proponent of using the malaria drug for treating Covid-19 is, of course, Donald Trump. Anthony Fauci openly contradicted Trump on hydroxychloroquine in one of their joint press conferences, noting there was no evidence supporting the drug’s use.
Trump responded, “Maybe there is, maybe there isn’t. Let’s give it a try. What have you got to lose?” As this study showed, a higher risk of death among Covid-19 patients is one possibility.
Fauci was also on stage to provide much needed facts when Trump, in a moment reminiscent of Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson in Zoolander, pondered getting disinfectant and sunlight inside the body. When asked about Fauci’s comments, Trump called The Washington Post fake news.
On its face, Plandemic appears an obvious attempt to smear Fauci and deflect blame from the Trump administration’s appalling handling of the pandemic. Yet Twitter has thus far reported no evidence of a coordinated campaign to amplify the spread of the documentary.
Perhaps the real story here is that the don’t-tread-on-me crowd is, ironically, incredibly well synchronised with the leader of the US government. Almost half of Americans think Trump has done a good job at handling the pandemic and a third say his treatment advice has been helpful.
But the real winner here is Mikovits herself. As of Sunday night, Plandemic and the trending hashtag #FireFauci had driven her 2010 book to #3 on Amazon.com’s bestsellers.