7 Fake Coronavirus News Stories You Need to Ignore
Fake news is spreading almost as fast as COVID-19. Get informed and don't fall for these stories.
There is a lot of information about the spread of COVID-19 out there on the internet. Unfortunately, there is also a lot of misinformation about coronavirus in the form of hoaxes, myths, pranks, and fake news spreading almost as fast as the contagion itself. Given how potentially dangerous the wrong bit of data can be during this kind of serious public health risk, it's just as crucial to be aware of the wrong stories as it is the facts. So stay properly informed, and if you spread anything during this surreal time, make sure it's the truth and not these fake coronavirus stories.
Martial law is not imminent.
Over the past three weeks or so, there has been a surge of rumors spread on Facebook, Instagram, and yes, group text chains that claim that President Donald Trump is moments away from declaring martial law. While theoretically anything is possible, on this issue, there is zero evidence that the White House is considering such a draconian move. President Trump has been leaving these decisions to state governors, the vast majority of whom have already declared stay-at-home orders. Martial law is a tactic designed to bring order to an anarchic state of things. So unless there is a dramatic change that leads to rioting and pestilence throughout the nation, the odds are slim to nil that martial law is around the corner.
With U.S. Navy hospital ships entering domestic waters and the National Guard setting up hospitals, Vice President Mike Pence even felt compelled to tell the public, "I want it to be understood that this is not martial law."
And tanks are not rolling through the streets of San Diego.
A surplus of video and images of tanks and military equipment have proliferated online in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the case of these pictured San Diego tanks that've made the rounds, the video was shot in 2017. The National Guard and military are going to coronavirus hot spots to help set up emergency hospitals, and the military moves equipment regularly. Just because they are moving machinery now doesn't mean that something scary is afoot. The rumors of San Diego tanks rolling down streets due to coronavirus is a complete internet hoax.
Students will not have to repeat their school year due to the pandemic.
It's unfortunate that the coronavirus pandemic overlapped with April Fool's Day, and while most reasonable people avoided pulling pranks at such an unsettling time, not everyone got the memo. Rumor spread on April 1 that the "government" had decided that the current school year had been effectively ruled void and that all students would need to repeat the current grade they are in. But that was just a not-so-funny prank taken seriously.
The Russian government did not release lions on the streets to keep people indoors.
Someone took the time to mock up fake broadcast graphics and put them over a photo of a full-grown lion walking through a city street to make people believe Russia was using the animals to enforce quarantining. As you can see on the image above, the false reports claimed Russian President Vladimir Putin released 500 lions to keep Russian citizens indoors. Though it's completely false, it was actually shared by hundreds of people who believed it to be true.
Congress members did not give themselves raises in the $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill.
The U.S. Government just passed a $2.2 trillion bill designed to provide much-needed financial relief to help recovery from the economic disaster that has come from the coronavirus pandemic. But did Congress slip in a raise to itself in the bill? Nope. Members of Congress did not exploit this bill for their own personal gain, USA Today says.
The coronavirus was not created in a Chinese or U.S. military lab.
There has been no shortage of international propaganda, though none more specious than the alleged artificial origins of COVID-19. Yes, the contagion did first reveal itself in the Wuhan province of China, but there is zero evidence that it was created in a lab. Some mid-level Chinese authorities have tried to pin the virus on a U.S. military operation, which has led to a war of words between the two nations. But there is now plenty of scientific evidence that shows that the coronavirus came from a natural evolution.
As the experts at Johns Hopkins note, "A disease outbreak happens when a virus that is common in an animal such as a pig, bat, or bird undergoes changes and passes to humans. This is likely how the new coronavirus came to be."
There are no home test kits for COVID-19.
Some people are trying to get rich quick off of the coronavirus pandemic. The most recent and absurd ploy? The COVID-19 home testing kit. The FDA has shut down any home testing kit sales due to a lack of reliability in their results. So there are no home testing kits for the coronavirus and if one develops, it's almost certainly months away.