In these unprecedented times, it’s important to make sure that the news you’re receiving is accurate, timely, and reputable. With the novel COVID-19 Coronavirus, new information from scientists and countries all over the world is constantly pouring in and it’s understandable for anyone to feel as if they’re lost, adrift in a sea of seemingly endless and unverifiable “COVID content.”
To help you navigate, we’ve put together a list of several news stories that have already been exposed as fake news so you can avoid false information and be sure that you’re getting the facts. Keep reading for 4 fake news articles that have already made the rounds on the internet involving the COVID-19 pandemic.
1. 5G Cellular Towers DO NOT Cause The Coronavirus
One rumor you may have heard is that 5G cell towers are somehow connected to the COVID-19 outbreak. This is completely false as 5G networks have been in operation since July 2019 in the US, and as early as April 2019 in Germany and South Korea.
This falsehood gained traction online on social media when actor Woody Harrelson shared a video on Instagram that showed a 5G tower being torn down in China. While the video in question does indeed depict a real incident in China, it is unrelated to 5G towers or the COVID-19 pandemic.
2. China IS NOT Seeking Approval To Kill 20,000 Coronavirus Patients.
In an article published on Feb. 5, 2020, by City News, it was stated that Chinese officials sought approval from the Supreme People’s Court to begin a mass slaughter of 20,000 people infected with COVID-19.
City News is far from reliable, having published a bevy of hoax articles, doctored tweets, and junk news stories, and this is no exception. This outlet is inundated with misinformation and should be avoided at all costs.
If you don’t want to take my word for it, check out the article that started this rumor and you’ll see that in the piece itself, the author misspelled China as “Chhina [sic].” Simple errors like these are often a solid indicator that a website shouldn’t be trusted. Trustworthy news sources use spell-check and grammar programs that help to avoid careless mistakes like those stated.
3.There Were NO Ventilators Found ‘Stashed” In A New York Warehouse.
You may have seen a photo on Facebook recently of ventilators in a warehouse with the caption “Democrats are trying to extend this Virus instead of Stopping it” above the photo and “Here’s the ventilators that was stuck [sic] in a warehouse. Democrat Governor Cuomo? Why?”
This meme is just that, a meme. The creator of the meme used a real photo and paired it with anti-Democratic sentiment to imply that politicians who are Democrats, like Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York, are intentionally trying to make the COVID-19 pandemic worse. This is indisputably false.
In reality, the photo that is used in the meme was taken on March 24, 2020, by photographer Scott Lynch of Gothamist. The photographer who took the photo explains that what it shows are 400 ventilators that were “set to be transported to hospitals.”
4. A Chinese Intelligence Officer DID NOT Reveal That COVID-19 Was Developed As A Bioweapon In a Wuhan Facility.
Perhaps the most widespread rumor about the Coronavirus thus far is the false theory that alleges a government lab in China created and released COVID-19 on Chinese citizens. This is despite the fact that there is zero evidence to support the claim and many researchers’ have stated their resounding disapproval.
This story appears to have started as an r/NoSleep thread that included a story originally written in Chinese. If you’re unfamiliar with r/NoSleep, it’s essentially a Reddit forum for people to post their own fictional, yet realistic, horror stories and commentators are expected to treat the material as if it were real.