Social media users are falsely claiming that the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting taking place in Davos, Switzerland and the monkeypox virus outbreaks in various locations around the world are connected, and that the outbreak was somehow planned by powerful people at the conference.
Some posts speculate that the timing of the conference and the monkeypox outbreak are not a coincidence, (here) and (here). One post reads: “WEF meets in Davos (Jan 2020) right around the same time of the onset of Covid hysteria. WEF is meeting again in Davos (May 2022) right around the time that monkeypox hysteria is starting to brew. Just a coincidence I guess.”
Part of one post reads, “The New World Order has lots of planned disasters ahead! Famine, drought, supply chain back-ups, grid failures, riots, looting, burning, terrorist attacks, mass shootings, internet blackouts, etc. to force cheat-by-mail and compliance with their Globalist agenda and usher in World War 3. Monkeypox is just the beginning! Buy more guns and ammo!”
There is no evidence that the rescheduling of the WEF meeting this year proves the outbreak of monkeypox was planned: It began prior to the Davos meeting, the severity and risk to public health of the current strain appears to be lower than the COVID-19 pandemic, monkeypox has existed for decades, and there have been international. outbreaks in the past.
Also, the 2021 annual meeting was cancelled due to the pandemic (here).
The 2020 meeting took place in January, before the COVID-19 virus spread globally.
The WEF annual meeting has been taking place since 1971. A timeline of significant past meetings can be seen (here).
As of May 21, 2022, 92 confirmed cases and 28 suspected cases of monkeypox have been reported from 12 member states that are not endemic for the virus, the World Health Organization (WHO) said. (here).
The risks of the monkeypox outbreak do not so far appear to be like that of COVID-19.
The risk to the public is low at this time, a U.S. public health official told reporters at a briefing this month. It is related to smallpox, but is usually milder, particularly the West African strain of the virus that was identified in a U.S. case, which has a fatality rate of around 1%. Most people fully recover in two to four weeks, the official said. The virus is not as easily transmitted as the SARS-CoV-2 virus that spurred the global COVID-19 pandemic (here).
In terms of timing, there is no evidence this current outbreak was planned.
"Viruses are nothing new and expected," Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada, told Reuters, for an explainer on the disease that can be seen (here).
Rasmussen said several factors, including increased global travel as well as climate change, have accelerated the emergence and spread of viruses. The world is also more on alert to new outbreaks of any kind in the wake of the COVID pandemic, she said.
There have been monkeypox outbreaks in the past, discrediting the idea that the current outbreak is something new or planned intentionally by leaders at Davos. The WHO says (here) that a monkeypox outbreak has been happening in Nigeria since 2017 with 218 cases. Since 1970, outbreaks have been reported in nine other countries in central and western Africa.
Monkeypox was also identified in the UK and the U.S. in 2021, for example (here).
Monkeypox was first discovered in monkeys in a Danish laboratory in 1958, with the first human case found in a child in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970, the WHO said (here).
There is no evidence that the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in May 2022 was scheduled to coincide with outbreaks of the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox has existed for decades and there have been international outbreaks in the past.
This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here .
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