The Coronavirus Collection: Conspiracy Theories

Snopes investigates conspiracy theories about the origins, discovery, and official responses to the novel coronavirus and COVID-19.

24 Articles
  • Published 13 March 2020
24 Articles

Various alternative theories have emerged to challenge the so-called “official narrative” recounting the emergence and discovery of the novel coronavirus, and how national governments have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read our fact checks of those claims below.

Check out the other categories to read the rest of our COVID-19 fact checks.

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The Origins and Scientific Failings of the COVID-19 ‘Bioweapon’ Conspiracy Theory

The coronavirus responsible for COVID-19 has deadly adaptations that make it perfect for infecting humans. But this is a testament to natural selection, not bioengineering.

News
Did a Chinese Intelligence Officer Reveal the ‘Truth About the Coronavirus Outbreak’?

A piece of horror fiction was a little too believable for some readers.

False
Does George Soros Own a Lab That ‘Developed’ COVID-19?

Somehow, some way, business magnate George Soros gets accused of being involved in almost every politically contentious event.

False
Was Charles Lieber Arrested for Selling the COVID-19 Coronavirus to China?

The arrest of a Harvard professor fueled conspiracy theories about the COVID-19 coronavirus disease outbreak in 2020.

Mostly False
Does ‘Every Election Year’ Have a Coinciding Disease?

A conspiratorial meme about disease outbreaks got a number of key facts wrong.

False
Is the ‘Umbrella Corporation’ Logo Oddly Similar to a Wuhan Biotech Lab’s?

Some concern arose over apparent connections between the video game "Resident Evil" and a new coronavirus outbreak.

False
Is This Train Car Carrying ‘COVID-19’?

It's puzzling why more conspirators aren't caught when they operate so brazenly.

False
Was a Suitcase Full of Dead Birds from China Seized at Dulles Airport?

A relatively mundane incident went viral due in part to rising fears about an outbreak of a new coronavirus.

Mixture
Is China Seeking Approval to Kill 20,000 Coronavirus Patients?

A disreputable website spread unfounded claims in the wake of a new coronavirus outbreak.

False
Do Sulfur Emissions from Wuhan, China, Point to Mass Cremation of Coronavirus Victims?

A data map that appeared in a popular Twitter thread did not show what some people claimed.

False
Were Ventilators Found ‘Stashed’ in a Warehouse in New York?

Social media posts painted a misleading picture about the plan for distributing ventilators amid the coronavirus pandemic.

False
Was a 5G Tower Torn Down in China To Stop COVID-19?

This video is real, but it has nothing to do with 5G or the coronavirus pandemic.

Miscaptioned
Is Clinton-Owned Medical Supply Price Gouging During COVID-19 Pandemic?

A routine review of content labeled satire.

Labeled Satire
Did 7 Children Die in Senegal from COVID-19 Vaccine?

This is the false rumor you get when you mix a door-to-door salesman, a health ministry T-shirt, and growing concern over the COVID-19 pandemic. 

False
Did Bill O’Reilly Write an Essay Calling COVID-19 a Chinese Bioweapon?

A conspiracy-tinged essay attributed to the former Fox News host went viral on social media.

Misattributed
‘Real Doctor’ Promoting Tonic Water for COVID-19 Spreads Dangerous Misinfo

A chiropractor's screed against "fake news" and his advocacy for the curative properties of Schweppes tonic water contain large amounts of dangerous misinformation.

News
Did the Same Person ‘Die Twice’ from COVID-19?

Many people do more than one thing, in different places, during their lifetimes.

False
Did BBB Warn Against Sharing High School Senior Photos?

Facebook users started a posting trend to show solidarity with 2020's graduating seniors who are finishing high school at home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

True
Did Former U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy Suggest COVID-19 Was a Conspiracy Against Trump?

Gowdy: "We have enough going on in our country right now without propagating misinformation."

Misattributed
Do Bats on 2020 U.S. Quarters Demonstrate a Government COVID-19 Plot?

Sometimes a bat is just a bat — even in American Samoa.

Mixture
Did Obama Admin Give Wuhan Laboratory a $3.7 Million Grant?

While it isn't unusual to see international cooperation in the field of virology, this claim stretches the truth.

Mixture
Do Flu Vaccines Increase Your Risk of Testing Positive for COVID-19?

Anti-vaccine advocates, including Dr. Rashid Buttar, have seized on the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic to spread misinformation.

False
Are the Unvaccinated Being Forcibly Rounded up in Oklahoma?

An outdated conspiracy video about FEMA camps and vaccines gained new life amid 2020 pandemic worries.

False
Is ‘COV-19’ Inscribed on This Piece of 5G Equipment?

An old piece of television equipment was used to further a conspiracy theory about 5G and COVID-19.

False