Craziest conspiracies of the COVID ERA


As COVID-19 has spread, so too has a wave of misinformation that has given rise to some of the wackiest conspiracies of this decade. From theories on the origins of the virus to fake cures and insane vaccine speculations, these are some of the most ridiculous, interesting and concerning conspiracies that have come out of the pandemic.

—Compiled by Mattheau Faught


Bill Gates created COVID-19
Theories about Bill Gates engineering the pandemic originate from a pre-pandemic TED Talk about how humans are not prepared for a future pandemic. Many, like Kenyan politician Mike Sonko, took his talk as a foreshadowing of Gates’ plans to unleash this pandemic.

Anthony Fauci created COVID-19

After a leaked letter from National Institutes of Health director Lawrence A. Tabak showed the institute funded “research on bat coronaviruses in China, Wuhan,” it reinforced the theory that not only did COVID-19 leak from a lab but was also bankrolled by Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The NIH has stated the viruses used in these experiments were “decades removed from SARS-CoV-2 evolutionarily” and therefore could not have caused the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this, Republican figures like Rand Paul and Matt Gaetz have floated the conspiracy that this research created COVID-19.

COVID-19 was created from HIV

Luc Montagnier is a French virologist credited with discovering HIV. Montagnier suggested that COVID-19 is engineered and that it contains four unique insertions similar to HIV. Researchers have disputed that these insertions are unique, saying they are common sequences found in various organisms like bacteria and parasites. Analysis of the novel coronavirus indicates these sequences also don’t completely match those present in HIV and are located in different proteins.

COVID-19 came from space

Researchers Edward J. Steele and Nalin Chandra Wickramasinghe published papers arguing COVID-19 arrived on a meteor spotted over Northeast China on Oct. 11, 2019. The researchers proposed that a “meteorite carrying a cargo of trillions of viruses/bacteria” could be the source of COVID-19. However, it’s not been proven viruses or bacteria exist in space, nor that they could keep from burning up in Earth’s atmosphere.


Covid-19 came from 5G towers
The theory that 5G radiation caused COVID-19 started as a result of 5G towers being installed about the same time COVID-19 cases began rising. As of May 2021, 77 fires targeting 5G towers were set in the United Kingdom, according to Business Insider. David Starbinski, an expert on communication technologies, wrote, “People have been using smartphones for years and we don’t see evidence this radiation has caused noticeable increases in diseases or hospitalizations due to usage.”




COVID-19 will go away with the heat.
President Donald J. Trump suggested the coronavirus would vanish in the summer heat and alleged Chinese president Xi Jinping agreed with this theory. According to Healthline, it’s true high heat can kill the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, but summer temperatures would not be nearly enough to do so.

In April of 2020, former president Donald Trump suggested injecting or drinking disinfectants could be a potential remedy to COVID-19. Trump later walked this statement back, but according to Time magazine, accidental poisonings with household disinfectants shot up by 121% in the same month.

Contrary to popular belief, you cannot drink your problems away. Early in the pandemic, memes spread the misconception that alcohol could somehow combat COVID-19. This potentially stemmed from the belief that since hand sanitizers contain 60-95% ethyl alcohol, drinking alcoholic beverages like beer, wine or liquor would be the next-best step. However, alcohol impairs the immune system, leaving it unable to fight COVID-19 and leading to severe complications, according to the World Health Organization. The WHO says while alcohol can be a disinfectant for the skin, it does not have the same effect when ingested.

Many public figures, including Trump, speculated that hydroxychloroquine, a drug commonly used to treat malaria, could also be used to treat COVID-19. However, the Food and Drug Administration said there were no benefits in patient outcomes when treated with the drug. And FDA data shows doses are unlikely to kill or inhibit the coronavirus. They also warned hydroxychloroquine could lead to heart rhythm problems, so the FDA cautions against using it outside a clinical setting.

Ivermectin is an anti-parasitic drug with antiviral properties that some people touted as a miracle cure for COVID-19. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, “the antiviral activity of ivermectin has not been consistently proven.” Ivermectin is FDA-approved to treat parasitic infections, but warns that using it to treat COVID-19, unless part of a clinical trial, could lead to adverse effects. Many people bought into the ivermectin conspiracy and took doses reserved for large animals, leading to some hospitalizations and deaths.


Vaccines contain microchips
Theories about COVID-19 vaccines containing microchips that either track or control people have been suggested by the likes of Gennady Zyuganov, leader of Russia’s Communist Party, and Newsmax correspondent Emerald Robinson.

Vaccines will alter your DNA
A Massachusetts Institute of Technology study published in December 2020 has been misrepresented to claim the mRNA vaccine will modify peoples DNA. These claims have been used to push theories that the vaccines turn humans into genetically modified organisms with no human rights. However, Thomas Preiss of Health Desk said there is no evidence mRNA from the vaccines would integrate with and alter a person’s DNA. Instead, mRNA carries instructions from DNA to the cells which produce spike proteins and is destroyed by the cell soon after.

Vaccines cause autism
In 1998, Andrew Wakefield produced a fraudulent study which claimed the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine could contribute to developmental disorders in children. Nine months before it was published, he filed a  patent application for his own measles vaccine, calling his motives for discrediting a potential competitor into question. Since then, many antivaxxers latched onto this study to spread distrust of the COVID-19 vaccine. There is no link between vaccines and autism according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Under-reported deaths

A talking point among fringe left and right-wing circles is the idea that COVID-19 vaccine deaths are underreported to protect corporate interests. However, the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System dictates that healthcare workers report any death after vaccination, even if there’s no indication the vaccine was to blame. According to the CDC, out of 390 million doses of COVID-19 shots administered from Dec. 14, 2020 to Sept. 27, 2021, there were 8,164 deaths reported. But this hasn’t stopped alternative media from inflating these numbers, with one article by The Exposé falsely claiming 150,000 people had died in the United States from COVID-19 vaccines.

Vaccines create variants  

Buzz around the Delta variant made some people, including Montagnier, suggest the vaccines are responsible for creating the variants. However, according to the Mayo Clinic, vaccines prevent variants. The CDC also reports that vaccines reduce transmission in most COVID-19 cases, thus the vaccines likely impede variants from developing.