An hour-long documentary being shared on social media makes numerous suggestions about the pandemic, global current affairs and the potential of a new world order. This article tackles some of the main topics addressed. Others are outside the scope of this check.
The video was created by happen.network (twitter.com/happen_network), an organisation that describes itself as a “forward-thinking digital media and social platform”, and one post including the video has been shared over 3,500 times (here). Called The New Normal, it compiles news footage, amateur footage, shots of news websites and graphics, all tied together with a voiceover narration. It then sets out the possibility that the COVID-19 pandemic was “planned by a group of tech elites who are dictating to governments globally” and that life after COVID-19 could see a world with “harsh tyrannical rules governed by a centralised totalitarian state”.
The footage directs attention to Event 201, a pandemic simulation held in October 2019 - months before the outbreak of COVID-19. It was a tabletop event held by Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, along with the World Economic Forum and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
There is a suggestion in the documentary that Gates and others had prior knowledge of the COVID-19 pandemic due to the similarity with Event 201, which simulated the outbreak of a novel zoonotic coronavirus.
Johns Hopkins has since stressed that Event 201 was organised due to a “growing number of epidemic events” (here). It was based around a “fictional coronavirus pandemic” and designed to model preparations and response (here).
A lengthy clip of a previously debunked video shows doctors suggesting animal trials were skipped before manufacturing the vaccine (here). This is not true.
Oxford University has confirmed its vaccine has undergone animal trials in the UK, US and Australia (here).
More information regarding this debunked video can be read in the Reuters check (here).
Building off the previously debunked claim that the pandemic was pre-planned, the documentary moves on to suggest lockdowns may have been imposed to ensure the smooth rollout of 5G networks.
The first known outbreak of COVID-19 has been traced back to Wuhan, China, after Chinese authorities reported pneumonia cases of unknown cause to the World Health Organization (WHO) on Dec. 31, 2019 (here). On Jan. 7, 2020, Chinese authorities identified SARS-CoV-2 as the virus that causes COVID-19 (here). It is a virus that spreads person-to-person through respiratory droplets (here).
5G, on the other hand, is a mobile phone technology that uses radio waves – the lowest-energy form of radiation on the electromagnetic spectrum. It is not connected to COVID-19. The WHO says no research has linked exposure to wireless technology with negative health effects (here).
Reuters has previously debunked a post that claimed a local lockdown in Leicester, UK, was related to the rollout of 5G. The lockdown was imposed in July, 2020, while Leicester has had 5G since Nov. 2019 (here). Also, there are many places that have been affected by COVID-19 that do not have 5G (here).
The Great Reset
The theme linking many of the earlier topics in the documentary is the suggestion that world leaders and society’s elite are working together to create a world with “harsh tyrannical rules governed by a centralised totalitarian state”.
This, it suggests, will be brought into being by The Great Reset, a sustainability plan proposed by the World Economic Forum (WEF). The documentary then refers to a social media clip from the WEF that makes eight predictions about the world in 2030. The footage specifically highlights three points: that people will cease to own anything; everything will be rented and delivered by drone, and Western values will be pushed to breaking point.
However, this is not what The Great Reset proposes, nor does it have anything to do with the social media clip.
The World Economic Forum pitched the idea of a “great reset” on capitalism in June 2020 after noting the pandemic was increasing inequality (here). It encourages three components, including asking governments to improve fiscal policy, implement overdue reforms (such as on wealth taxes), and push for the efforts that boosted health sectors in 2020 to be replicated across other sectors and bring about an industrial revolution.
The social media clip, meanwhile, is from 2016 (here) and has nothing to do with The Great Reset. It is a video formulated after members of the WEF’s Global Future Councils made various predictions about the world in 2030 – whether good or bad (here). Danish politician Ida Auken, who wrote about the prediction that people would no longer own anything (here), added an author’s note to her piece to stress it was not her vision of utopia.
“Some people have read this blog as my utopia or dream of the future,” she wrote. “It is not. It is a scenario showing where we could be heading - for better and for worse. I wrote this piece to start a discussion about some of the pros and cons of the current technological development. When we are dealing with the future, it is not enough to work with reports. We should start discussions in many new ways. This is the intention with this piece.”
Misleading. The video includes various references to suggest the COVID-19 pandemic was devised to push forward with a new world order envisioned by society’s elite. There is no evidence this is true.
Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here .
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