Ridiculous theory virus ‘owned’ from 1999
A new COVID-19 conspiracy theory documentary makes wild claims patents for coronavirus were filed as early as 1999 as a way for governments and corporations to make money.
The controversial Plandemic II: Indoctornation also delves into why conspiracy theorists think the whole coronavirus pandemic has been orchestrated.
Hailed as being "from the creators of the most viewed and banned documentary of all time", the film claims to track a "three decade-long money trail that leads directly to the key players behind the COVID-19 pandemic".
The first Plandemic film, released in May, was viewed millions of times before being pulled from several platforms.
It was based on the claims of discredited scientist Judy Mikovits, who says that doctors, including US infection diseases expert Dr Anthony Fauci, and the rich and powerful, are behind the spread of the virus.
The follow up largely focuses on Dr David E Martin, who the film labels as a national intelligence analyst.
THE PATENT CONSPIRACY THEORY
Dr Martin claims that in 1999 patents on coronavirus started showing up and the "rabbit trail" began.
He said in 2003 America's Centres for Disease Control saw possibility of a "gold strike" in a coronavirus outbreak in Asia and sought to patent it.
However, that outbreak was actually Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
It is true that the CDC filed a patent because it had sequenced the SARS virus. It told the Associated Press in 2003 that the patent was to ensure access, and to prevent others from controlling the information.
But conspiracy groups like QAnon, as well as those among the anti-vaccination community, have used social media to suggest the US government, or publicly-funded research institutions, "own the coronavirus" through patents.
This idea appears to derive from poorly interpreted patent searches.
The documentary includes screengrabs of such searches.
US patent law no longer allows for patents on viral sequences as they exist in nature.
Dr Martin claims the CDC saw the virus as something "very valuable" and patented it, controlling the propriety rights to the disease, the virus and its detection.
He claims from 2003 to 2018 they controlled "100 per cent of the cash flow that built the empire around the industrial complex of coronavirus", and that the patents constrained everyone else from inquiring into or looking at the virus.
He claims not long after that was when virus work started being subcontracted out to China.
That claim centres around another conspiracy theory that this coronavirus may have originated in a Wuhan lab.
The theory was further fuelled in April when reports surfaced the US National Institutes of Health, a government agency, awarded a $3.7 million research grant to the lab.
Those reports have since been labelled "misleading at best", with only elements being true.
The World Health Organisation says scientists believe the coronavirus jumped from animals to humans, possibly at a Wuhan market selling wild animals.
Dr Fauci has echoed the WHO's statement and that all evidence so far "strongly indicates" a natural origin.
Other experts have said molecular biological evidence demonstrated no evidence the virus was created or manipulated in a lab.
THE FIRST 'RED FLAG'
In the "documentary" Dr Martin also detailed Dr Fauci's involvement in a pandemic preparation event which he claimed was the first "red flag" that something was at play.
Dr Fauci was on the Global Monitoring Preparedness board for the A World at Risk annual report on global preparedness for health emergencies, released in September 2019.
The report came out with a recommendation that by September 2020 the world must be prepared for a rapidly spreading pandemic due to a lethal respiratory pathogen.
It was followed by Event 201 in October, an eight-hour panel that brought together leaders in business, government and public health to play a team of presidential advisers modelling the response to a worldwide pandemic.
The documentary shows clips from simulation scenarios from the event and compares them to real news grabs from this pandemic, including travel bans being implemented, the circulation of misinformation, increased demand for masks and gloves, how it would take months to get a treatment, and an eagerness for an experimental vaccine.
"Twenty months into one of the worst pandemics the world's ever known, there's still no vaccine," a mock newsreader says in the simulation.
"The World Health Organisation estimates 150 million people have died, approximately 2 per cent of the global population. The US, along with the rest of the world, is in its worst economic depression in history."
Dr Martin claims the people involved in the event are "now involved in and profiting from the real pandemic".
"Every single thing that you have seen play out in front of your eyes, all of them laid out in their 'tabletop' exercise which, by the way, fact checkers have said has nothing to do with the coronavirus outbreak - it's just happenstance," he says.
"This is just that wonderful universe of improbabilities where events just co-emerge and then nature conveniently backs itself into our architecture. That's the scenario we're supposed to accept."
Filmmaker Mikki Willis asks in the documentary if these experts knew what was needed, why didn't they take better steps to prepare hospitals and do something.
Dr Martin claims a year before Event 201, many of the same sponsors, hosts and actors produced a tabletop pandemic simulation for a fictional virus they branded Cladex.
The documentary also criticises the WHO and its director and further delves into Bill Gates' connections to pharmaceutical companies.
In it, Mr Willis claims no one man has more power to influence and control and health and medical freedom of all people and asks whether Mr Gates is a "benevolent hero or malevolent opportunist".
"Personally I would love to believe that one of the richest men in the world is giving away his fortune for the betterment of humanity," he says.
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and TikTok wasted little time before taking steps to limit the spread of the latest film.
"This latest video contains COVID-19 claims that our fact-checking partners have repeatedly rated false so we have reduced its distribution and added a warning label showing their findings to anyone who sees it," a Facebook spokesperson said.
Originally published as Ridiculous theory virus 'owned' from 1999