Viral thoughts: Why COVID-19 conspiracy theories persist

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Sumary of Viral thoughts: Why COVID-19 conspiracy theories persist:

  • As the world struggles to break the grip of COVID-19, psychologists and misinformation experts are studying why the pandemic spawned so many conspiracy theories, which have led people to eschew masks, social distancing and vaccines..
  • In January, anti-vaccine activists forced a vaccine clinic at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles to close for a day..
  • Elsewhere, a pharmacist destroyed vaccine doses, medical workers were attacked, and hundreds died after consuming toxins touted as cures — all because of COVID-19 falsehoods..
  • The most popular conspiracy theories often help people explain complicated, tumultuous events, when the truth may be too troubling to accept, according to Helen Lee Bouygues, founder and president of the Paris-based Reboot Foundation, which researches and promotes critical thinking in the internet age..
  • Trust in American institutions has been further eroded by false statements from leaders like President Donald Trump, who repeatedly downplayed the threat of the virus, suggested bleach as a treatment, and undermined his administration own experts..
  • An analysis by Cornell University researchers determined Trump to be the greatest driver of false coronavirus claims..
  • Carmona said he was addressing a group of executives about the coronavirus recently when one man declared that the pandemic was created by the Chinese government and Democrats to hurt Trump reelection bid…

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