VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Netizen says COVID-19 ‘isn’t real,’ recites string of FALSE claims

Kung wala talagang gamot diyan, bakit may nakaka-recover (If there really is no cure, how come some recover [from COVID-19])?,” a netizen in a viral video argues, while urging people to not believe the existence of the coronavirus disease and narrating other debunked conspiracy theories around the illness.

A netizen’s eight-minute video has been re-posted by at least seven Facebook (FB) pages from July 3 to July 8. Two of the pages, DuterteNews and Online World brought in the biggest social media traffic, according to monitoring tool Crowdtangle. Their re-posts alone have been shared more than 25,000 times and could have reached 8.7 million users collectively.

The speaker in the video insists that COVID-19 cases are “not true” and called Health Secretary Francisco Duque “a liar.” This false claim is posited on how patients are able to recover from the disease in the absence of any vaccine or treatment.

Patients infected with the novel coronavirus can recover if their cases range from mild to moderate, as long as there is “supportive care,” the World Health Organization (WHO) highlights in its myth busters page.

Supportive care means treating the symptoms of the disease to help alleviate a person’s discomfort or suffering. The WHO recommends that patients with mild COVID-19 who don’t have chronic underlying conditions be “given symptomatic treatment such as antipyretics for fever and pain, adequate nutrition and appropriate rehydration.”

In an article published by the Mayo Clinic, a nonprofit medical center in the United States, supportive care or supportive treatment can help prevent the worsening of symptoms in a patient.

"By closely monitoring patients, helping them breathe, delivering intravenous fluids, keeping their fever down and treating cough, we can hopefully prevent adverse events, such as chronic shortness of breath, or worse, death in severe cases," said Dr. Clayton Cowl, head of Mayo Clinic's Division of Preventive, Occupational and Aerospace Medicine.

The netizen in the video also repeatedly mentioned conspiracy theories surrounding the disease, which have already been debunked by various fact checkers worldwide:

  • That COVID-19 actually means “certification for vaccination identification,” because multi-billionaire and philanthropist Bill Gates wants to establish a “new world order.” This is false.
  • That a vaccine with a microchip will be inserted in the body and introduced as the cure for the disease. Not true.
  • That Gates, whom he repeatedly labels as an “antichrist,” created the virus together with China and will implant the microchips upon availability of a vaccine. This is merely a hoax.

The false video resurfaced a month after the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, committed to giving USD 1.6 billion to Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, to “deliver life saving vaccines to the world’s poorest countries.” It also promised to give USD 100 million to help “purchase COVID-19 vaccines for lower income countries through a new COVID-19 Vaccine Advance Market Commitment.”

DuterteNews was created only last March 3, while Online World was created in January 2019.

The netizen in the video also has numerous conspiracy theory-related posts and warnings on the antichrist in his FB profile.

(Editor's Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)

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