Conspiracy theories abound as Americans question the origins of the coronavirus

Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates's warning of a potential pandemic in 2015 thrust him into the center of the circulation of conspiracy theories, leading some to suspect him responsible for the creation of the current pandemic // Photo courtesy of flickr.com.

With so much uncertainty as to where exactly the coronavirus stemmed from, there have been some conspiracy theories brought up in the media. Business Insider suggests that conspiracy theorists are “likely more alienated and socially isolated,” which is the case for millions around the world due to the social distancing promoted to help fight the pandemic. Although these are just theories, they can put people at ease and keep their mind occupied rather than just focusing on the bad.

One of the main theories spiraling among the media is that Bill Gates, who has spent millions of dollars fighting diseases such as HIV/AIDS and malaria, according to Business Insider, wants to get the entire population vaccinated for the virus in order to implant digital microchips that will track and possibly control people. Recently, anti-vaccination proponents have been all over a video released in 2015 of a TED Talk given by Bill Gates, where he discussed the ebola outbreak and warned the public of the necessity of preparing for a possible pandemic to come.

“Personally, I do not believe Bill Gates was involved in the creation of COVID-19. I do think it is very possible that the disease was ‘man-made’, but I do not think this was done by Bill Gates. However, it does seem that he may be looking to make a profit off of this entire situation, as he is very involved in the search for a cure. This could be out of the kindness of his heart or he could be searching for a new avenue of cash. We will not truly know for some time,” John Liberatore (’20) said.

“Honestly, I would not be surprised considering the amount of money he has and also because of how much the government has hidden. There are many people who have a lot of power in the US and in other countries, especially when it comes to the public’s safety and health. There is bound to be people with as much power as Bill Gates to profit from something as big as this pandemic,” Deanna Gladstone (’20) said.

Another rumor circulating about COVID-19 is that Chinese scientists intentionally leaked this virus as a bioweapon, which nearly three in ten Americans believe, according to Pew Research. Others believe the virus was being studied in Wuhan Institute of Virology lab and then escaped due to poor safety protocol, despite the fact that genetic sequencing showed that none of the viruses being studied matched the novel coronavirus, according to Cornell University’s Alliance for Science.

Another popular theory has linked COVID-19 to 5G networks. Believers of this theory say that 5G causes radiation and triggers the virus, according to the Alliance for Science, even though it would be impossible for biological particles to be carried through the electromagnetic waves of cellular networks. The spread of the virus in countries without 5G access also provides evidence against this theory. Nevertheless, some go as far as to say that 5G and COVID-19 are here to depopulate the earth. 

Although these are all just conspiracy theories that are untrue or highly unlikely, people have come up with them to clear their minds from the uncertainty of what the future holds due to this virus. 

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