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The story behind the widely shared ‘Plandemic’ conspiracy video

The video also includes dangerous advice for its viewers stating that wearing a mask and frequently washing your hands goes against building immunity.

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The 26-minute video, “Plandemic: The Hidden Agenda Behind Covid-19,” has made its way through multiple social media platforms over the last 10 days. The film is produced by a Californian company, Elevate. The company’s founder, Mike Willis, interviews Judy Mikovits, a former scientist at the National Cancer Institute. In the late 2000s, she was known for her study on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome which was later retracted due to failure in the validity of its conclusions. 

On 7th May, the film was uploaded on the Instagram account standup911 and titled Plandemic Part 1 Dr. Judy Mikovits. It received 110, 213 views in the two days it was uploaded. Since last week multiple copies of this film have been removed from Youtube and Facebook for violating guidelines. 

At large, the ‘Plandemic’ video speaks of multiple conspiracy theories around COVID-19 and related public health. It begins with Mikovits explaining that she was disgraced and silenced in relation to her work which aimed at spreading the truth about the reality of science. She alleges that Bill Gates and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director, Dr. Anthony Fauci, are leveraging the coronavirus crisis to promote their business and political interests. 

The video also includes dangerous advice for its viewers stating that wearing a mask and frequently washing your hands goes against building immunity towards the virus and therefore, increases your chances of catching it. 

Here is a fact check on some of the misleading claims narrated in the film. 

Fact Check

“It’s very clear this virus was manipulated” 

Mikovits explains, “I wouldn’t use the word created. But you can’t say naturally occurring if it was by way of the laboratory. So it’s very clear this virus was manipulated.”

A March, 2020 Nature article called “The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2,” explains how the genetic structure of the novel coronavirus rules out laboratory manipulation. It states that on observing all notable SARS-COV-2 features, scientists don’t believe “that any type of laboratory-based scenario is plausible.” SARS-COV-2 is the name of the virus that causes infectious disease COVID-19. 

The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2

Our comparison of alpha- and betacoronaviruses identifies two notable genomic features of SARS-CoV-2: (i) on the basis of structural studies7,8,9 and biochemical experiments1,9,10 , SARS-CoV-2 appears to be optimized for binding to the human receptor ACE2; and (ii) the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 has a functional polybasic (furin) cleavage site at the S1-S2 boundary through the insertion of 12 nucleotides8 , which additionally led to the predicted acquisition of three O-linked glycans around the site.

“This occurred from SARS-1 within a decade. That’s not naturally occurring.”

This is an inaccurate explanation for the source of the novel coronavirus. COVID-19 is a new disease and not derived from Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). Though the two diseases have similarities, they have different characteristics, infectious periods, transmissibility, clinical severity, and extent of community spread.

Hydroxychloroquine is “effective against these families of viruses”

This is not entirely proven since no cure or vaccine for COVID-19 or SARS is known. There are numerous ongoing studies some of which have shown Hydroxychloroquine to mitigate symptoms associated with COVID-19, while others show no different results. 

‘Wearing the mask literally activates your own virus. You’re getting sick from your own reactivated coronavirus expressions.’

There is no credible evidence to support this claim. The World Health Organisation in its guidance paper titled “Advice on the use of masks in the context of COVID-19,” suggests that “wearing a medical mask is one of the prevention measures that can limit the spread of certain respiratory viral diseases, including COVID-19.” This of course doesn’t guarantee complete safety from catching the virus and needs to be practiced along with other critical preventive measures mentioned in the paper. 

‘If you’ve ever had a flu vaccine, you were injected with coronaviruses’

This is an inaccurate claim which has been debunked by other fact-checkers as well. 

Fact check: Getting flu shot doesn’t make you more (or less) likely to get the coronavirus

As the novel coronavirus continues to spread across the United States, a handful of posts on Facebook have claimed those who received the influenza vaccine are either more likely to test positive for the virus or to become sick with it. Some posts include snippets of scientific studies meant to back up the claim.

In response to a 2017-18 study on Influenza vaccination and respiratory virus interference that made its rounds on social media last month, the World Health Organisation concludes that the study shows “little or no evidence of association of virus interference and influenza vaccination,” states this April 2020 news report

Higher flu vaccination rates could help expose new viruses like Covid-19 earlier, expert says

Higher influenza vaccination rates could help prevent a future pandemic by exposing new viruses like Covid-19, which was probably circulating much earlier than December 2019 but was mistaken for flu, an expert has said.

Conclusion

The film promotes numerous baseless claims about vaccines, the origin of the novel coronavirus as well as its preventive measures and treatments among others that haven’t been supported by credible sources.

Given how widely this video has been shared it shows that fear and frustration in these uncertain times tend to increase people’s appetite for conspiracy theories. 

Tools Used

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Result: False


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Coronavirus

Aamir Khan’s Ghulam Co-Star Javed Hyder is not selling vegetables to survive, Misleading Claim goes Viral

The media reports claiming that Javed Hyder is selling vegetables to survive during ongoing Corona virus pandemic is false.

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Aamir Khan’s Ghulam Co Star Javed Hyder is not selling vegetables to survive, Misleading Claim goes Viral- Newschecker.in

Several media outlets shared a TikTok video of Aamir Khan’s Ghulam co-star Javed Hyder selling vegetables and claimed that he is doing so to survive during ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. Here are some screenshots of the media outlets who reported the same.





Big Boss fame, Dolly Bindra also shared Javed Hyder’s video and tweeted, ‘He is an actor, and today he is selling vegetables…Javed Hyder’. In the viral TikTok video, Javed Hyder is selling vegetables while dancing. He is lip-syncing the famous song ‘Duniya Mein Rehna Hai Toh Kaam Kar Pyaare.’ You can see the video here.

We found that the same claim is viral on Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp.

The quint also published an article claiming the same. However; they updated their report later on with a disclaimer.

Fact Check

With the help of relevant keywords search on Google, we found several articles clearing the air on the viral claim. In his conversation with Mirror Online, Javed Hyder clarified that he is not a vegetable seller, and the video was just for TikTok.

No, I am not a vegetable vendor. I am an actor by profession even now. The entire selling vegetable video was just an act and I shot that TikTok video only to motivate my followers

Javed Hyder To Mirror Online.

Later, Hindustan times and News 18 India also published an article stating the same.

Conclusion

It is evident from our fact check that media reports claiming that Javed Hyder is selling vegetables to survive during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic are false. Javed Hyder clarified that he is not selling vegetables for a living, whereas the viral video is just a musical one that he made to keep himself busy during the lockdown.

Sources

  • Google Search
  • Twitter Search

Result: False


(If you would like us to fact check a claim, give feedback or lodge a complaint, WhatsApp us at 9999499044. You can also visit the Contact Us page and fill the form)

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There Is No Doctor Named Mujahid Hussain In The Ministry Of AYUSH

The Ministry of AYUSH issued a statement on 23 June on Patanjali Ayurved’s claims related to the treatment of COVID-19.

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There Is No Doctor Named Mujahid Hussain In The Ministry Of AYUSH

Claim 

A tweet posted on 25 June claims that Dr. Mujahid Hussain allegedly from the Ministry of AYUSH banned Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali medicine Coronil

This viral tweet has been circulating on social media platforms in the last few days. The post also asserts that Dr. Hussain thinks Ayurveda can’t be promoted to cure the virus.

Fact check 

In the recent past, Baba Ramdev claimed that Coronil and Swasari have shown 100% favorable results during the clinical trial on COVID-19 patients. These medicines are part of a corona kit by Ramdev-led Patanjali which includes a third medicine called Anu Tel. Among these the Ayurvedic drug: Coronil is the most popular drug in conversation because it claims to cure coronavirus infection in just seven days. 

Soon after this, Union AYUSH minister Shripad Naik said that Coronil should not have been advertised by Patanjali Ayurved until AYUSH, which stands for Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy approved it. 

The claim about Dr. Mujahid Hussain as well as other related claims have been circulating on social media platforms after the controversial Patanjali Ayurveda “cure” had been announced and the Centre asked them to stop its advertising. 

The Ministry of AYUSH issued a statement on 23 June on Patanjali Ayurved’s claims related to the treatment of COVID-19.  

PIB Press Release

Latest news reports state that an FIR has been filed against Baba Ramdev for misleading people and propagating Patanjali Ayurveda drug Coronil as a cure for COVID-19.  

Our team reached out to the Ministry of Ayush to verify this claim. They clarified that there is no doctor by the name Mujahid Hussain in their ministry. Nor did the ministry fire any doctor or medical officer recently. Related claims on social media are fake. 

You can read our Hindi fact check debunking this claim here

Another related claim has been clarified by the Ministry of AYUSH. 

Additionally, we did not find any news stories which supported this claim. 

Conclusion 

The lack of any news reports supporting the claim in context as well as our direct conversation with a member in the Ministry of AYUSH makes it clear that there was no Dr. Mujahid Hussain banned Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali medicine Coronil

Tools Used 

  • Google advanced search 
  • Twitter advanced search 

Result: Fabricated News/False

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Delhi NCR Is Not Going Under A Complete Lockdown For 4 Weeks From 18 June

The Home Minister has announced a slew of measures to help the Delhi government in fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

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As India’s months-long lockdown starts easing, common social media users, commentators, and political pundits have once again started making assumptions as to what will be imposed again and what’s coming next. The latest entry to this wide array of misinformation is a WhatsApp forward claiming a four-week long strict lockdown in Delhi NCR from June 18. The WhatsApp forward also claims that the President’s rule will be imposed in the national capital. The strictness of this ‘alleged’ lockdown consists of no allowance to go outside. It further appeals to finish all necessary work and let others know of the ‘alleged’ lockdown.

WhatsApp Message Sent To Newschecker

Fact Check

As we begin fact-checking this claim, we first checked the website of the Home Ministry of India for any such announcement. It is noteworthy that no such announcement was found on the ministry’s website.

We also checked the official Twitter handle of the spokesperson of the MHA but we didn’t find any such announcement there as well. Furthermore, we found a tweet by the fact-checking arm of the government that debunks the claims made in the viral WhatsApp forward. The tweet by the PIB reads, “Claim: A message on Facebook claiming strict #Lockdown from 18th June. 

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When we searched further, we also found a series of tweets made by the Home Minister of India in which he has mentioned the meeting between him and the Delhi Chief Minister that took place today. In the same Twitter thread, the Home Minister has announced a slew of measures to help the Delhi government in fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

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Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, through a tweet, has seconded the content of Home Minister Amit Shah’s tweets.

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It is important to note that none of the above two have information about President’s rule in Delhi and the alleged strict lockdown.

Hence, it is proved in our fact-check report that the viral WhatsApp forward is false and no strict lockdown has been announced in Delhi. Since the Home Minister and the Delhi Chief Minister have announced fighting the coronavirus pandemic together, the claims regarding the President’s rule in Delhi are false as well.

Sources

  • Google Search
  • Twitter Advanced Search

Result: False


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