The conspiracy theories about the spread of the novel coronavirus still persist. This time, astrologists and various members of the public got involved in the problem solution.
Pro-Kremlin media outlet News Front Georgia offers recommendations provided by astrologist Ramaz Gigauri on how to cope with the coronavirus challenges. Gigauri claims that the coronavirus is linked to the Saturn-Pluto conjunction and that is just where “the key” to tackling the virus lies. Sputnik’s astrologist Mikheil Tsagareli noted that “the Chinese infected bats with 50 influenza virus strains. Later, they either let out one bat or it escaped.” According to him, a special lab is just located in the Chinese city of Wuhan and since the bats are used as food, this is the reason for the spread of the virus. Tsagareli predicts that a threat of COVID-19 will be over in late April.
Actress Lali Moroshkina believes that the novel coronavirus is a bioweapon. In the interview with Palitra News, she said that COVID-19 had existed since 2015. She refers to a novel “The Eyes of Darkness” by Dean Koontz which was released in 1981 and which describes a killer virus called “Wuhan-400” that some claimed echoes the current coronavirus outbreak.
Moroshkina claims that coronavirus is a bioweapon and the United States or any group associated with it might be interested in its spread.
1. Pangolin or bat? – The search for potential suspects in spreading the coronavirus is not over
According to BBC, bats can really be the source of coronavirus outbreak as they gather in large colonies, fly long distances and are present on every continent. They rarely get sick themselves, but have the opportunity to spread pathogens far and wide.
However, the role of bats in this process has yet to be confirmed. According to some doubts, the virus could be transmitted to humans from pangolins, as the coronavirus has been found in pangolins, some claimed to be a close match to the novel human virus.
It is unknown so far whether the bat virus and pangolin virus have traded genetics before spreading to humans. Experts are cautious about drawing any conclusions. Full data on the pangolin study has not been released, making the information impossible to verify.
2. Will the spread of the novel coronavirus be over in late April?
As far as Tsagareli’s remarks are concerned, according to which “the spread of the coronavirus will be over in late April,” it is worth noting that the World Health Organization has not made any official statement about apparent date of making a coronavirus vaccine available to everyone.
3. Conspiracy theories about a novel “The Eyes of Darkness” by Dean Koontz and American interests
A killer virus called “Wuhan-400” is really mentioned in Dean Koontz’s novel; however, “the predictions” do not coincide with the real facts:
• In Koontz’s novel, “Wuhan-400” is a human-made bioweapon. The coronavirus came from animals, as did the other problematic coronaviruses, Sars and Mers.
• In the novel, “Wuhan-400” has a 100% fatality rate. While researchers are still learning about the coronavirus, the current fatality rate sits at about 2%.
• The fictional “Wuhan-400” has an extremely quick incubation period of about four hours compared to COVID-19 which has an incubation period between two and 14 days.
The Dean Koontz novel was released in 1981 and according to its initial version, the virus was created in the Russian city of Gorky and it was called “Gorky-400.” There is no official information about why the name was changed. But by 2008, the name had been changed to “Wuhan-400.”
It is worth noting that portrayal of the novel coronavirus as a bioweapon and linking the United States to biothreats is a pro-Kremlin narrative; such conspiracy theories are actively spread in Russian media outlets.
Prepared by Mariam Topchishvili
Regional Network of Media Literacy Lab