A video shared online has claimed that the coronavirus pandemic is a hoax and part of a conspiracy to control the general public. This is false.
A post sharing the video can be viewed here (here).
The opening sequence shows billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates, warning that “we will have to prepare” for the next pandemic.
The narrator then uses points to argue that the pandemic was planned, and claims it is a hoax that is being used as an excuse to control the general public.
CLAIM 1 - THE VIRUS THAT CAUSES COVID-19 HASN’T BEEN IDENTIFIED OR ISOLATED
“They’ve never isolated it or actually identified this virus as actually existing, so the whole thing is just a big scam”, the narrator claims (here).
This is not true. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the name of the virus that causes the disease COVID-19 (here).
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the virus was identified by Chinese authorities on January 7, 2020 (tinyurl.com/y5at3vke).
CLAIM 2 - TEST FOR COVID-19 BROADLY TESTS FOR RNA VIRUSES AND GENETIC MATERIAL
“Of course, the more people they test, then the more people are going to test positive because they’re just testing for RNA viruses and genetic material”, the narrator alleges (here).
It is false that the COVID-19 test broadly detects all RNA viruses rather than SARS-CoV-2 specifically.
The Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test used to detect SARS-CoV-2 works by detecting the presence of its RNA in the swab sample (here).
Each virus has its own pattern of RNA material, and the test for coronavirus tests for the RNA material of SARS-CoV-2 specifically.
CLAIM 3 - ALL DEATHS ARE BEING LABELLED AS COVID-19
“All deaths are basically being labelled as COVID deaths now whether they are or not. All you have to do is test positive for this genetic material in your body and it’ll say COVID-19” (here).
In the UK, data on COVID-19 deaths published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) includes deaths “involving COVID-19”.
This includes deaths that have COVID-19 mentioned anywhere on the death certificate, whether it is an underlying cause or not (here).
However, the ONS says that: “In the majority of cases (46,736 deaths, 92.8%) where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, it was found to be the underlying cause of death”.
It is wrong to say that all deaths are being recorded as COVID deaths. One indication of how many deaths have been caused by the pandemic is the number of ‘excess deaths’ recorded, or additional deaths compared to the number usually expected during a given time period.
An ONS report shows that England and Wales saw spikes in the number of excess deaths that reflect the number of COVID-19 deaths that were reported at that time (see Figure 2) (here).
In June, the ONS reported that there were around 64,500 excess deaths across the UK for the time of year using a five-year average, though the figure is now likely to be higher (here).
False. The coronavirus pandemic is not a hoax; it is a global outbreak caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2.
This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here .
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