The maddest coronavirus conspiracy theories

Mainstream journalists and politicians are spreading some dodgy ideas about Covid-19.


As Covid-19 has spread around the world, so too has misinformation and conspiracy theories.

While madcap theories are par for the course on the darker recesses of the internet, in recent years many prominent and supposedly sensible people have turned to conspiracy theories to explain away political and social developments – particularly Brexit, Trump and the rise of populism. And now this conspiratorial thinking has extended to coronavirus.

Here are some of the maddest takes from the pandemic so far.

Coronavirus is a bioweapon

One of the main conspiracy theories doing the rounds online is the idea that coronavirus is actually a bioweapon – developed either by China or the US, depending on who is posting or tweeting. The theory has been comprehensively debunked. (For one thing, a bioweapon which spread indiscriminately like Covid-19 would be useless.)

Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood has dangerously lent legitimacy to this nonsense, by suggesting that Wuhan may also be the site of a bioweapons research lab.

Boris wants to cull the elderly

The UK government has adopted a noticeably less draconian approach to the Covid-19 outbreak than our European neighbours, and this has sent #FBPE Twitter into meltdown.

Although the government’s approach is being led by its scientific advisers, many tinfoil-hat wearers see a much darker motive: they say the Tories want to kill off the elderly and the vulnerable (and cover up the damage done by Brexit, of course). Wake up, sheeple!

Anything tweeted by Carole Cadwalladr of late

Carol Cadwalladr’s anti-Brexit conspiracy theories about Russia, data miners and Julian Assange have made her a darling of the liberal intelligentsia in recent years. Her fevered ramblings won her Britain’s top journalistic prize and she was even nominated for a Pulitzer.

Now Cadwalladr is alleging a conspiracy between Big Tech and the government over coronavirus, because Boris Johnson’s chief strategist, Dominic Cummings, had a meeting with tech CEOs to discuss coronavirus. In a spectacularly bizarre and borderline incomprehensible rant, Cadwalladr asked if coronavirus could also be ‘rigged’ in the same way that she believes the Brexit vote was rigged.

In the five days since the WHO declared coronavirus to be a global pandemic, far too many people have already lost their minds.

Picture by: Getty.

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Daniel Webb

18th March 2020 at 7:08 am

Conspiracy theorist such as Cadwaladr do not appreciate that casting such aspersions are downright dangerous. I believe in free speech of course and would invite cadwaladr to present her evidence for the options she holds. It would not take long before any reasonable person would see that such opinions hold very little meaningful reliable substance.
Give her a platform and let her defend opinion. It will reveal the truth quickly.

Darth Saddius

17th March 2020 at 10:42 am

Here’s one I heard on the Sky News review of the press last night. One of the presenters passed on a theory from contacts in France that President Macron was using the crisis to introduce a lockdown to foil the Gilets Jaunes protests, the rotter! And who passed on this gem of a conspiracy theory? Why none other than Ms Ella Whelan of this very parish!

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