Here Are Some Of The Coronavirus Hoaxes That Spread In The First Few Weeks
COVID-19 has spawned countless conspiracy theories, hoaxes, and falsehoods.
An outbreak of coronavirus that began in Wuhan, China, and spread globally has caused nearly 3,000 deaths worldwide.
BuzzFeed News has a running list of falsehoods and unverified information following the outbreak.
Scroll down for examples of false and misleading content from when news of coronavirus first broke. The most recent information and debunks are added to the top.
1. No, meth cannot be contaminated with COVID-19 and police will not test it for you for free.
Two dozen police departments, 10 journalists and radio stations, one Army substance abuse program, and a candidate for local sheriff have spread the false claim on Facebook about meth possibly being contaminated with the novel coronavirus.
2. No, the Pope does not have coronavirus. The hoax comes from a newly registered website and has amassed over 60,000 Facebook engagements.
3. A fake Chuck Schumer tweet is being spread across platforms. Schumer did not say, "there must be a check and Balance" on China travel restrictions. One tell-tale sign this is fake are the misspellings and bad grammar in the tweet.
4. No, Bill Gates did not finance a lab that created COVID-19.
Some of the president's supporters have been spreading a false conspiracy theory tying the spread of COVID19 to either Bill Gates or billionaire George Soros. There is no evidence that either man had any influence about how the virus was spread and the theory about coronavirus is a biological weapon doesn't hold water, experts previously told BuzzFeed News.
5. An unreliable website is spreading a false rumor about hair weaves being contaminated with coronavirus, PolitiFact reports.
According to PolitiFact's investigation, the website spreading the hoax belongs to Nikolaos Hatziefstathiou, a Pennsylvania man who has fabricated stories, documents, and impersonated reporters.
8. No, air purifiers are not an effective way to protect yourself against COVID-19, scientists told BuzzFeed News.
“Your typical HEPA filter is not going to be able to remove coronavirus from the air,” Erin Sorrell, an assistant professor of microbiology and a member of Georgetown University’s Center for Global Health Science and Security, told BuzzFeed News. “The filter itself is .3 microns and the virus itself is roughly .1 microns.”
The below debunks are from January, when hoaxes about coronavirus first started gaining traction.