I'm sick and tired of conspiracy theorists in general, and American capitalist ones in particular (those who use any and every crisis to stir up fear and uncertainty, usually in order to make money out of the gullible). Alex Jones and his Infowars Web site are prime examples, but there are many more out there.
Vice reports that they're making hay while the Wuhan coronavirus shines, if one can put it that way.
Conspiracy peddlers make their money and retain their audiences by selling panic, and they’ve leaped onto this new epidemic with glee ... The claims are multiplying by the day. The Canadian conspiracy site Global Research falsely claimed that the virus was “tightly focused to Chinese” (meaning only Chinese people were getting it), and strongly implied it had been brought into the country by Western forces, writing that there is a “history of American universities and NGOs having come into China in recent years to conduct biological experiments that were so illegal as to leave the Chinese authorities enraged.” The site Communal News ... has claimed that the virus leaked from a Chinese “biological warfare weapons lab,” an assertion that’s also being floated in the slightly more mainstream Washington Times.
Meanwhile, the website Health Impact News, which is not a real news site, has been among many conspiracy sites peddling a video which purports to show that the coronavirus epidemic was predicted at Event 201, a forum hosted by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in partnership with the World Economic Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. On the internet, that’s quickly transmuted into a claim that Bill Gates is somehow profiting from the coronavirus or holds a patent for its cure. The QAnon personality Jordan Sather claimed that a “patent” had been filed for the coronavirus in 2015, a claim that InfoWars’ Rob Dew has also made. One of the more fringe ideas holds that the coronavirus is being conveniently pushed out by shadowy forces in order to impose “harmful” 5G technology and radiation on an unsuspecting populace, tapping into an ongoing controversy over the use of 5G.
But sites like Health Impact News or Global Research also have another reason for promoting misinformation about the epidemic: It allows them to position themselves as being among the few trustworthy sources of information about it.
. . .
Accusations that the government isn’t doing enough to stop the spread of the disease have also been met by accusations that they’ll soon be doing too much. A site called Twisted Truth was among those spreading the claim that the government would soon impose martial law on Americans to contain the outbreak.
Adams and Jones, meanwhile—both big fans of apocalyptic claims about FEMA camps themselves—saw something special at work too; as with most human events that fall under their mutual gaze, they claimed that the coronavirus is nothing less than a global depopulation effort ... “The masses will be slaughtered,” Adams added. “The depopulation agenda cannot be stopped. Do you understand? Do you effing understand?”
There's more at the link.
I'm particularly angered by those peddling fake "cures" for coronavirus, or methods to avoid infection that cannot possibly have the desired effect. We've seen claims that oregano oil is a sure cure, amongst others. Efforts by "big tech" to reduce the spread of such medically impossible claims have led to claims of censorship, a "Big Brother"-style crackdown on information, and other such nonsense. If it were possible to do so without stifling free speech, I'd gladly support efforts to imprison all those trying to profit in any way from the spread of such false information . . . but sadly, I don't see how that can be done without threatening the freedom of information in general.
If you really want solid information about how to deal with the coronavirus if it pops up in your neighborhood, look to those who deal with such things for a living. Aesop - who works in an emergency room in California - suggests some pretty useful basics. He also debunks the doom, gloom and disaster rumor-mongers. I think we'll all do well to print out his two articles, put them up somewhere accessible in our homes, and follow his advice - while ignoring the conspiracy theorists.