“They should show the number of flu cases and deaths along with COVID-19 information.” “Bill Gates is giving away a fortune! All you need to do is send money back on this chain letter and you might end up with millions!” “A friend in the military tells me that the Stafford Act is going to be invoked next week.” “COVID-19 can be cured with massive doses of Vitamin-C.” “There is no virus. It’s an attempt by the deep state to impose a dictatorship.”

These are just a few of the false statements we have received in the past week on Whitley Strieber’s FaceBook Messenger client. As of today in our Insight Section, we are running PEN America’s excellent guide to what is true and false out there, and where to go to get real information.

The basics are these: Russian trolls are working overtime to destabilize our country and cause the maximum amount of damage, both economic and physical, from the virus. For example, they are promoting the idea that the response is overblown because the flu kills more people. Therefore, the thinking goes, we shouldn’t be engaging in this economically devastating quarantine. Unfortunately, some important US media outlets are now promoting this fallacy.

Why is it a fallacy? Because, unlike the flu, nobody has immunity to COVD-19 except possibly the few people who have recovered from it. With a two to four percent death rate, it is far more lethal than the flu, which has well under a one percent death rate. It is also extremely contagious.

Taken together, these factors mean that if it spreads widely–and if we go off quarantine, it is certain to do just that–we are going to end up with a catastrophe that will bring this country  to its knees.

In other words, exactly what Vladimir Putin and the Russian government want.

To address each of the other claims quoted above: Bill Gates is trying his best to offer generous assistance, but it has nothing to do with thieves and their chain letters; If the government invokes the Stafford Act, it is not the end of the world, but we aren’t there yet; there is no clear evidence that anything cures COVID-19 or can stave it off except washing your hands frequently, keeping your environment clean and not touching your face except after you have washed your hands and are in a safe space; while it’s true that Hungary has just become a dictatorship due to a bill passed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no evidence that most western democracies are in trouble.

Please read PEN’s guide before falling for these or any of the many scams that are proliferating out there. And DO NOT click on any links in any emails, even if they come from your friends, not before looking at the URL first and determining for certain that it is legitimate. If you are not sure, ask the friend if they actually sent you the email–not by replying to it but by sending them an email to their known address.

Click here for the PEN Guide.

20 Comments

  1. what abt Prince Charles’ sudden cure and Homeopathy ? I find it quite credible despite official denial.. I’m serious. I mean, he’s known to be a staunch supporter of the same (as his mother, apparently). So we must be weary of official info too. Nowhere to go in this case, really. We’re consistently lied to on both fronts (official sources and trolls alike). MC.

    1. There has been no indication that Prince Charles has been cured of his COVID-19 infection, or that he actually received any sort of homeopathic treatment from an otherwise anonymous ayurvedic practitioner to begin with; the unsubstantiated claim smacks more of the “practitioner’s” attempt to promote his health resort.

      The Press Council of India has asked the Indian media to stop publicizing claims being made by AYUSH about unproven “cures” like the Charles claim, especially given that it is impossible for any treatment to have worked that fast, let alone haven been developed and tested for efficacy in such a short amount of time.

      It’s true that the CDC and WHO have been making mistakes regarding this crisis, but there’s no indication that it’s due to any intent to deceive the public.

      1. It’s been well documented that the royal family have been fans of Homeopathy for centuries and they attribute their long life to that

  2. Canada’s University of Calgary School of Public Policy has also released a report titled “COVID-19 as a Tool of Information Confrontation: Russia’s Approach“, outlining the methods and misdirection that the Kremlin’s propaganda machine is employing toward this end.

    And take PEN’s advice on media learning skills to heart: a healthy dose of skepticism–especially if the information happens to validate your beliefs–will go a long way toward keeping you and yours safe.

  3. Author

    I can’t find any news story that suggests that prince Charles was cured. Not on any legitimate news site. If you have a link to such a story, MC please provide it.

    1. Hello, W
      Here’s HRH himself, jolly and slightly red after a miraculous 6-day recovery from COVID19
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9Y5AeVwZgM
      He swears to God (through Ella Lynch, his official spokesperson) he just followed the NHS partyline.. but everyone knows he is strictly homeopathic.. notice how he’s deliberately vague abt his “treatment”.. the video comments section is hilarious btw.. worth reading..
      MC.

      1. A six-day recovery from a COVID-19 infection for people with mild symptoms isn’t uncommon (the median time is 7 days, hence the one week isolation period mandated in the UK), and Charles left isolation 8 days after the first report of his symptoms. Far from a “miraculous” recovery, when weighed against the average CIVOD-19 infection.

        https://www.telegraph.co.uk/royal-family/2020/03/25/prince-charles-tests-positive-coronavirus/

        If you have a source that said Charles “swears to God” that he’s just parroting what the NHS told him to, I’d like to see it. The only thing I can find in regards to Lynch addressing the subject is a refutation of Dr. Issac Mathai’s unsubstantiated claim. As per her email to The Indian Express:

        “This information is incorrect. The Prince of Wales followed the medical advice of the NHS (National Health Service) in the UK and nothing more.”

        https://indianexpress.com/article/coronavirus/uk-prince-charles-coronavirus-ayurvedic-medicine-6346204/

        MC, try not to take this the wrong way, but this is a classic example of what Whitley’s talking about here. A homeopathic practitioner (or at least a minister in the Indian government) makes an entirely unsubstantiated claim about an improbable event, and the story takes on a life of its own, fueled by those that invest their beliefs in a fiction that doesn’t hold up under a mild bit of research.

    2. There certainly is a lot of disinformation out there. Also a lot of cracks are being pointed out by those willing to listen.

      https://swprs.org/a-swiss-doctor-on-covid-19/

      Who knows what to believe anymore? Especially when the WHO has been parrot squawking the lies of the Chinese government from the beginning. Unfortunately we don’t live in a world where one can readily get reliable information. These past couple decades have proven that time and again. Perhaps it would be wise for one to listen very carefully to everyone and everything in these overly deceptive times instead of just pointing to another mouthpiece – especially as our civil rights are being taken out behind the woodshed.

        1. Author

          As always, this whole issue is going to become very complex, and the Dr. Lieber case is a perfect example of why that will happen. I have lived with too much official deception and foul play in my own life to believe for a moment that all is aboveboard. Right now, though, the focus has to be on getting COVID-19 under control without destroying our economy at the same time, and the approach of a month or so of sequestering and aggressive intervention in known cases is the best one we have so far. I do have a concern that good drugs may be maligned, ignored and not be deployed because there’s no profit in it.

        2. Regarding the bat-origin issue, yes, all indications point to SARS-CoV-2 having originated in bats, just like its predecessors, SARS-CoV-1 (2003 SARS outbreak) and MERS-CoV (2012 MERS outbreak). SARS-CoV-1 made the jump to wild palm civets being sold in a Guangdong market, and MERS-CoV made the jump from Egyptian cave bats to domestic camels in the Middle East.

          Although a biowarfare agent accident as the source of SARS-CoV-2 isn’t out of the realm of possibility, a natural origin for for the virus is a far more plausible scenario, especially considering most nations abandoned the development of bioweapons decades ago due to their unreliable nature.

          Regardless, whether or not SARS-CoV-2 was released from a lab or came directly from the wild (there is zero indication that it has been artificially tinkered with) is utterly and completely irrelevant, and regardless of any actual veracity the conspiracy theory might have, bad-faith governments are using the narrative to undermine their opponents’ political and economic stabilities: it would be wise to not play their game, and rather focus on actually verifiable information, especially information that can help you and your community make it though this crisis in the best way possible.

        3. A close personnel friend of mine is a medical scientist and geneticist. They have told me scientists can track viruses through the D.N.A and R.N.A . Apparently as a virus goes from one species {closer to human} to another it holds some of the D.N.A {and R.N.A} ? codes from the viruses past. So scientists are able to find and track some of its beginnings. COVD19 has a very interesting R.N.A and it is posing as a real problem for the pathology and viral Drs. If it was only the D.N.A we’d have a vaccine quicker rather than latter. So it looks like we are in for a long haul. {short of some lucky break} Washing hands, social distancing and good hygiene are our best weapons at the moment. Now if there are any errors in this text they are mine, in the translation of what she has told me, not hers. {she likes to download a lot of info quickly. For all i know my brain is still uncompressing the files}

          Form what i understand about anything escaping from a lab is that companies buy the rights to viruses so they can have the patent on the vaccine. It’s called business. So the virus is just naturally found in nature. It’s just human error that its got out…if thats where it has come from !? Let’s face facts humans are pretty darn careless sometimes. Plus the abuse’s in nature of flora and fauna, I’m not surprised we are seeing something new.

          1. Thanks for this MC, I’ve been piecing together information for a story on this, and this is one of the more comprehensive articles I’ve read so far.

  4. Author

    He says he had a mild case. He also says that he followed the NHS protocols, insofar as he makes reference to Heathcare UK and his wife’s participation in Silverline. “Everyone knows he is strictly homeopathic” is no answer, when he himself says nothing about the use of homeopathy in his case.

    1. https://www.britishhomeopathic.org/media-centre/hrh-prince-charles-announced-as-new-patron-of-the-faculty-of-homeopathy/

      https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/jun/25/prince-charles-criticised-continuing-promote-homeopathy

      https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/26/health/prince-charles-patron-faculty-of-homeopathy-gbr-intl-scli/index.html

      Dear Whitley.. as you can see it’s a bit more complicated.. it’s political, it’s abt big pharma money, it’s abt allopathic power discourse in the Savoir/Pouvoir Foucault sense.. it’s a mess.. our mess.

      MC.

      Ps – btw I’ve got this (below) through the Homeopaths grapevine.. take it for what it’s worth.. interesting nonetheless.. who knows, perhaps it may inspire someone to talk to a qualified Homeopath abt it

      “Prince Charles cured of Covid-19 within 6 days by using Homoeopathy medicines. Many patients across the globe cured by simple homoeopathy medicines. Still some among us using untested, unscientific dangerous drugs as preventive and curative resulting in the death of vulnerable people like aged and patients already with multi system diseases.

      The British Royal Family have been using and endorsing Homeopathy for three Generations. Queen Elizabeth is the Royal Patron of British Homoeopathic Association.

      Ars alb 30. 4 pills in the morning
      RHUS TOX 200 4pills in the evening as Prevention.
      From 10th March onwards
      After mild symptoms belladonna 200 4 times a day.
      He became negative in 6 days.

      This is the high time to think about giving Homoeopathy medicine as preventive and curative across the country and save thousands of life”

      1. I’m not knocking homeopathy here, but mild cases of COVID-19 symptoms run for an average of 7 days to begin with; Charles’ infection probably simply ran its course, regardless of whether he actually took a homeopathic remedy or not.

  5. Author

    I’m also not knocking homeopathy. I use homeopathy successfully for many different things, mainly arthritis. My problem comes when people begin to spread stories such as the prince cured himself with it when he himself has not said that. The next thing you know, there will be people selling unproven homeopathic cures for Covid on the Internet and people will be dying because they believed.

  6. Thanks for raising awareness of the amount of misleading information flying around about COVID-19. I, for one, was not happy with Joseph Farrell’s speculation about biowarfare. His Dreamland comments about this maybe being a weapon to target China look bad now. Of course, the story will probably change to China released it internally on purpose to throw off investigators. They’ll say that the real target is Western economies, and China sacrificed a few of its own to get it out to other, less prepared countries.

    I hope that we figure out the origin of COVID-19, though don’t see how that would change our responses right now. We know that testing, monitoring, tracking contacts, and developing proven therapeutics and immunizations are vital. The United States dropped the ball early and the Trump administration continues to careen between lies, blame and misleading statements. One of Trump’s latest lies is to claim that he never said it would go away in April.

    We also have a long history of epidemiology telling us that early responses in an outbreak with an exponential growth phase go a long way in determining ultimate severity. Closing travel with China, while releasing repatriated individuals back into communities without more testing was far from adequate. Even if these individuals were free of COVID-19, which we don’t know, there were probably others already here that we could not identify, because we didn’t deploy testing like South Korea did. The responsibility for that and subsequent spread lies within the United States.

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