Fact check: COVID-19 is not a ‘scam’ being used to ‘destroy the global economy’ for a new world order

Footage being shared on social media shows a known conspiracy theorist making false claims about the coronavirus pandemic being “fake”, and how it is being used to push forward a new world order.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS

The interview has been shared on several Facebook accounts using different camera angles (here, here) and features David Icke making these claims.

He says: “More and more people all over the world - it’s increasing all the time in country after country after country - are realising that they’re part of a scam. They’ve been had. And the scam is to transform human society using the excuse of this fake virus.”

Lockdowns, he adds, have been introduced to countries around the world to “destroy the global economy” to ensure local businesses are ruined, and to make way for governments to prop citizens up with a guaranteed income.

“The guaranteed income will be presented as a way of giving people survival income, if that, because all the jobs have gone […] and there comes with that a few consequences,” he said.

According to Icke, these consequences include mandatory vaccinations that are a “horrific and sinister agenda for humanity” and “you have to do what the government says”.

These claims are false, as is Icke’s final suggestion that the virus is fake because he has embraced hundreds of people and has been spared the disease.

Firstly, David Icke is a well-known British conspiracy theorist who has previously made claims debunked by Reuters (here, here) . His accounts on Facebook and YouTube were removed in May for misinformation (here), while his Twitter account was banned at the beginning of November for the same reason (here) .

Secondly, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the name of the virus that causes the disease COVID-19 (here). It was identified by Chinese authorities on Jan. 7, 2020 (here) and is not a “fake virus”.

As of Nov. 9, there have been more than 50 million reported infections of the virus around the world, along with 1,254,000 deaths (here) . Reuters has also previously debunked claims surrounding the veracity of the disease (here, here, here) .

There is no evidence to suggest lockdowns are part of a deeper governmental ploy to destroy business, the world economy – nor to force people to submit to mandatory vaccinations. Reuters has previously debunked a similar claim from Canada, which said citizens would be given money in return for their personal freedoms, including such vaccinations (here) .

In the UK, to make a vaccination compulsory, there would need to be a change in law. This has not happened, and Health Secretary Matt Hancock has previously said he believes it will not be necessary (here) .

Scientists at Imperial College London have said that lockdowns are a way of reducing the transmission of COVID-19 as it enforces strict social distancing among populations (here) . To combat the negative effect these measures have had on businesses and their employees, the UK government has extended its furlough scheme until March 2021 (here) .


False. The virus is neither a scam nor fake, and it has killed more than a million people worldwide. Lockdowns have been introduced to try to stem transmission of COVID-19 while a vaccine is not yet available. They are not a secret tactic to destroy the global economy and push forward a new world order.

Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here .