Spain’s High Court didn’t call Covid-19 a ‘bioweapon’

26 May 2023
What was claimed

Spain’s High Court said that the virus that causes Covid-19 is a patented bioweapon.

Our verdict

This is not true. We can find no evidence Spain’s High Court has ever said this.

A screenshot being shared on Facebook claims that the Spanish High Court has announced that Covid-19 is a “bioweapon with a patent”.

This is false. It is an old claim that first began circulating in 2021, based on a misunderstanding of a document from Spain’s Ministry of Health.

It may have originated in a now-deleted blog post, where the Spanish document was misinterpreted.

Several fact checkers, including Full Fact, have written about this document being misinterpreted before.

The origins of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, are still debated, but we can find no evidence that the Spanish High Court has ever said that it is a bioweapon or has been patented.

We’ve seen many false claims about the Covid-19 virus since the pandemic started, including suggestions that it was accelerated by 5G, that it has never been isolated, or that it was predicted in detail by books, the WHO or preparedness exercises. False information about the Covid-19 virus can reduce trust in medicine and epidemiology, and may cause people to make badly informed choices about their own health.

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What the post says

The screenshot in the post says: “Spain is now the 9th country to take its Health Minister to court and win. The Spanish High Court has announced the Covid 19 is a bioweapon with a patent [sic]”.

Some versions of this screenshot add the words “not a virus” at the end.

None of the posts we’ve seen provide a source for the claim, but it is the same claim that was made in 2021, which the US fact checking site Politifact traced to a blog post about the Spanish Health Ministry document of September 2021.

What the Health Ministry said

The document, which Full Fact has read using an automatic translation, is a response from the Spanish Health Ministry to a request for public information about Covid-19.

As far as we can tell, and as Health Feedback have reported, the document has nothing to do with Spain’s High Court.

At one point the document says, in translation: “The Ministry of Health does not have a SARS-CoV-2 culture for testing, and it does not have a registry of laboratories with culture and isolation capacity for testing.”

The blog post cited by Politifact may have been talking about this sentence when it falsely claimed that the document said that “NO EVIDENCE for the virus's existence can be found”.

But the document did not say this, and as we said in our previous article, the virus has been isolated in Spain and elsewhere many times.

Neither Spain’s Health Ministry nor its High Court has ever said that the Covid-19 virus is a bioweapon or has been patented, as far as we can tell. Indeed both have denied saying this, according to a report by AFP Fact Check.

As we have written several times before, there has been a patent application for another type of coronavirus (such as a weakened version of infectious bronchitis virus, with the intention of developing a vaccine against it for birds and other animals), but not the virus that causes Covid-19.

Image courtesy of Fusion Medical Animation

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