Covid isn’t fake

27 July 2023
What was claimed

The Covid-19 virus is fake.

Our verdict

It is not. The virus has been isolated many times. It has killed almost seven million people worldwide and continues to circulate.

An Instagram post features a screenshot of a tweet that claims “Everything in the news currently is a cover-up for the fact that they poisoned tens of millions of people for a fake virus, and now they are dropping like flies…”

The caption of the post refers to news stories that have happened since “convid”, calling them “all circus distracting you from what has actually happened”.

As we have written before, the Covid-19 virus is not fake.

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Three years of false claims

False claims about Covid have circulated since the beginning of the pandemic, and we continue to fact check misinformation about the virus. Bad health information that spreads at scale can introduce confusion about the causes and treatments of illnesses, create distrust of medical professionals, and distract from or undermine medical consensus and public health messaging.

Claims that Covid is fake have sometimes centred on it never having been isolated (separating and identifying it from a sample to study it separately). As Full Fact explained in 2020, this is not true, with many reports of the virus being isolated by teams around the world even at that time.

The pandemic is ongoing according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), despite claims otherwise by the media and politicians. Despite vaccines and treatments, the virus continues to spread, with thousands of cases reported every week in England–though massively down from a peak of over 200,000 cases a day at the end of 2021. 

The current figure may not be accurate given that testing is a lot less widespread than it once was. Government funded tests are now only available for certain people, such as some hospital patients and care home residents, and certain healthcare workers. The ONS prevalence survey—which tested random samples of the population to estimate the overall case rates—is no longer running.

The latest data up to June 2023 shows that sadly over 100 people a week are still dying from the disease in the UK. Again, this is down from peaks in the first two waves where over a thousand people were dying every day. This data reflects the numbers of deaths of people whose death certificate mentioned Covid-19 as one of the causes as determined by the medical professionals who looked after the person.

Worldwide, the WHO says over 768 million confirmed Covid cases and almost seven million deaths from the virus have been reported since the start of the pandemic.

Featured image courtesy of Gustavo Basso

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