There have been various conspiracy theories regarding the coronavirus outbreak, with a lot of rumor and hearsay being spread. This comes following the death of Li Wenliang, the doctor that was punished for warning others regarding the spread of coronavirus.
China muzzling media outlets in information about coronavirus
Various people across the globe have questioned the way China has managed information about the outbreak with authorities accused of attempting to hide information. Chinese authorities control news outlets and squeeze out independent coverage on the coronavirus that has since claimed around 3,000 lives.
Following there censorship of information, there is growing anger among people regarding the unpleasant truths that are said to be rumors with truth-tellers threatened or facing punishment. Authorities are paying the price of censuring the truth on social media platforms where people are expressing their displeasure.
According to most posts, if Li’s warnings and those of other medical workers had not been gagged, there could have been sufficient public awareness that would have prepared people for the outbreak. So far, the virus has infected more than 84,000 people and put millions of people in lockdown. However, the narrative on social media has been that hiding the truth about the virus has caused a huge problem. As public trust continues to decline, authorities are finding it to be difficult to tackle possible disinformation.
Conspiracy theories indicated the virus was man-made
Immediately the outbreak became a public health issue at the end of January reports emerged that the spread of the virus did not emerge from nature, but it was instead manufactured in a lab. Scientists in China and the West have dispelled this conspiracy stating that the virus came from bats before getting into humans through an intermediate host such as the SARS virus.
Despite the denials, it has been hard for authorities to convince the public otherwise. The conspiracy theories have even become more elaborate, with many pointing that the ground zero of the coronavirus in Wuhan hosts a lab that is known to study such kind of viruses.