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Fact check: This article is not ‘ultimate proof’ that the COVID-19 pandemic is planned

Correction, Oct. 17, 2020:

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS

An earlier version of this check included an editing note. This has been removed and a date and a link have been added in reference to a speech made by Dr Anthony Fauci.

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An article shared online has claimed to give “ultimate proof” that the novel coronavirus pandemic was planned to create a new world order. The text lists a large number of false and unsubstantiated claims as evidence of this, a selection of which will be discussed in this fact check.

The article (here) was published on the blogging website TapNewsWire, with the disclaimer that: “No purported facts have been verified”.

GERMAN MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS

The article claims that a group of five hundred German doctors have declared that the pandemic was planned.

While the group “Doctors for Education” does exist (here), they are not considered to be a reliable source of information.

German fact-checking organisation Correctiv has debunked multiple claims made by the group on a range of topics such as PCR tests, face masks and vaccines (here) (here) .

COVID-19 TEST PATENT

The third bullet point claims that a testing method for COVID-19 was patented by Richard Rothschild four years before the disease was discovered.

A screenshot of a Dutch website shows a patent for a “System and Method for Testing for COVID-19” that has a “Prioriteitsdatum” (Dutch for “priority date”) of “2015-10-13”.

While the patent is legitimate (here), the author has conflated the terms “priority date” and “application date”.

The priority date can refer to the earliest filing date in a family of related patent applications, or to the earliest filing date of a particular feature of an invention (here) .

In this case, Oct. 13, 2015 was when Rothschild first filed an application within this family of patents (here).

The earlier ‘related’ patents do not mention COVID-19, but were instead for a “System and Method For Using, Processing, and Displaying Biometric Data” (here) .

The patent for a system that analyses biometric data to determine whether the user is suffering from COVID-19 was not applied for until May 17, 2020 (here) .

PREDICTIVE SYMBOLISM

The article claims that a musician called Dr Creep predicted the novel coronavirus pandemic in 2013.

In 2013, the rapper released a song called “Pandemic” with the lyrics: “2020 combined with coronavirus, bodies stacking”.

However, Dr Creep has called the lyrics “more of a coincidence than a prediction” (here).

“There was already 6 or so coronaviruses in 2012/2013 when the Pandemic song was created and a coronavirus was being talked about a lot at the time. As for mentioning 2020, well 2020-2030 was just significant years to me, as well as many other people that are educated on these esoteric topics”, he wrote in a Facebook post.

“I just made a song about pandemics and was rapping about a bunch of viruses. Simple as that. Throw enough conspiracy theories on dozens of albums and eventually you’ll nail it”, he said in reply to a comment on his post.

Another claim made by the article, that the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games contained a symbolic ritual predicting the pandemic, has already been debunked by Reuters (here) .

THE WORLD BANK

The article makes several false claims that are linked to the World Bank.

Under bullet point six, there is a screenshot of a document from the World Bank for a “World COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Program”.

The program is shown to have an “Expected Project Closing Date” of March 31, 2025.

The text alleges that this is proof that the pandemic is a “project” that is planned to continue for the next five years.

However, the original document reveals that the aim of the project is to: “prevent, detect and respond to the threat posed by COVID-19 and strengthen national systems for public health preparedness” (here) .

But it is also not inconceivable that the fallout from COVID-19 – and the need for support – will continue for years to come.

According to the World Bank’s chief economist, Carmen Reinhart, the global economic recovery from the crisis originated by the pandemic may take as much as five years (here) .

A separate claim, that the World Integrated Trade Solution (WITS) website shows that COVID-19 testing kits were purchased in 2017 and 2018, been debunked in this Reuters fact check (here) .

PANDEMIC SIMULATIONS

In October 2019, the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security with partners, the World Economic Forum and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, hosted a pandemic tabletop exercise called “Event 201”.

The event simulated an outbreak of a novel zoonotic coronavirus transmitted from bats to pigs to people and that leads to a severe pandemic (here) .

The exercise served to “highlight preparedness and response challenges” that would likely arise in a very severe pandemic (here) .

The article suggests this is evidence that the organisers had prior knowledge of the pandemic caused by COVID-19.

However, in response to questions about whether the exercise predicted the current pandemic, Johns Hopkins said that: “For the scenario, we modeled a fictional coronavirus pandemic, but we explicitly stated that it was not a prediction” (here) .

“Although our tabletop exercise included a mock novel coronavirus, the inputs we used for modeling the potential impact of that fictional virus are not similar to nCoV-2019”, they added.

But the fact the exercise took place isn’t unexpected or unusual.

John Hopkins said that the event was organised in light of the world seeing a “growing number of epidemic events” (here) .

“Experts agree that it is only a matter of time before one of these epidemics becomes global—a pandemic with potentially catastrophic consequences”, it said.

The text also claims that in 2018, the Institute for Disease Modeling “announced a global pandemic with a flu virus, originating in China in the area of Wuhan”.

It is true that the institute did model a pandemic originating from China (Simulation: Global Flu Pandemic) .

While it is debatable that the simulation shows the disease originating from Wuhan, which is slightly more north than the epicentre, it would not be usual for a simulation to use a virus originating from China.

As a previous Reuters fact check explains, several viral outbreaks including SARS and ‘Bird Flu’ have originated in China, and many others around the surrounding region (here) .

BILL GATES AND VACCINES

For point ten, the website points to a tweet sent by Gates in December 2019, which reads: “What’s next for our foundation? I’m particularly excited about what the next year could mean for one of the best buys in global health: vaccines” (here) .

While the tweet is real, there is no evidence that the pandemic was planned for profit, as the text suggests is the case.

At the time of the tweet, there were also many other vaccines in development that Gates could have been referring to.

The article linked to in Gates’ tweet, for instance, notes 700 million doses of vaccines which protect against 17 different diseases had been delivered by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (here).

The website also claims that Bill Gates said during a TED talk that new vaccines can be used to reduce the world’s population with 10-15%.

As previous Reuters fact check explains, this is a misinterpretation of a section of a speech he gave at a TED conference in 2010 (here) .

As part of a talk on reducing CO2 emissions to zero, he said: “First, we've got population. The world today has 6.8 billion people. That's headed up to about nine billion. Now, if we do a really great job on new vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we could lower that by, perhaps, 10 or 15 percent. But there, we see an increase of about 1.3.”(here).

FAUCI WARNING ABOUT INFECTIOUS DISEASES

The article alleges that U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci “guaranteed” a pandemic within the next two years, pointing to a speech made in January 2017 (visible here) in which he said: “If there’s one message that I want to leave with you today based on my experience, it is that there is no question that there will be a challenge to the coming administration in the arena of infectious diseases” (Pandemic Preparedness in the Next Administration: Keynote Address by Anthony S. Fauci) .

“How could Fauci guarantee a surprise outbreak to happen during the first term of the Trump administration? What did he know, that we don’t?”, the article questions.

However, Fauci explains that it is the history of infectious diseases, and the challenges previous administrations have faced from them, that enables him to make this prediction.

“I hope by the end of my relatively short presentation you will understand why history, the history of the last 32 years that I’ve been the director of the NAIAD, will tell the next administration that there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that they will be faced with the challenges that their predecessors were faced with”, he said.

The Obama administration, for instance, had dealt with the 2014-2016 Ebola (EVD) outbreak in West Africa, the 2009 swine flu (H1N1) pandemic and the 2015-2016 outbreak of Zika virus (here) .

VERDICT

False. The given points do not prove that the pandemic was planned.

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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