An alarmist BBC News report warning of the dangers of “fake news” contained a claim that was in itself a blatant example of fake news.
The article, titled “The Victims of This Year’s Viral Conspiracy Theories,” ominously warned that conspiracy theories “are destroying relationships and putting lives at risk.”
According to Marianna Spring, the BBC’s “disinformation specialist”, the first among them was a “wave of lies online about the coronavirus”.
“We have documented the mass poisonings and overdoses of hydroxychloroquine – a drug that world leaders like Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro have falsely claimed cures or prevents COVID-19,” Spring wrote.
NEW 🚨 Conspiracy theories have torn the internet apart this year, destroying relationships and endangering lives – worlds outside of legitimate concern.
Here I reflect on their victims and my year report on the impact of viral disinformation. Https://t.co/sb2TAMLbuQ
– Marianna Spring (@mariannaspring) December 26, 2020
However, as LockdownSkeptics points out, the claim that hydroxychloroquine does not cure or prevent COVID-19 or that it is poison in itself is false news.
“I’m afraid this won’t pass the fact-checking test, Ms. Spring. More than 200 studies have shown that HCQ is an effective treatment for Covid. Trump and Bolsonaro may have overstated the preventative and curative properties of HCQ, but that doesn’t mean that it’s completely ineffective and that anyone who takes it is likely to be poisoned. On the contrary, it is almost certainly no more dangerous than any of the Covid vaccines. “
Despite the drug’s effectiveness, hydroxychloroquine has been demonized by the mainstream media from the start, partly to prevent Trump from claiming success in the fight against COVID and partly because it allegedly reduced the urgency of the drug. ‘a vaccine, which should be used as a reason to restrict people’s mobility and travel rights.
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