Debunking a wild Covid-19 conspiracy theory pushed by a GOP House candidate

Jeff Zink is running a (muy) longshot bid for Congress en arizona. He also was featured prominently in a New York Times piece over the weekend highlighting members of Donald Trump’s MAGA movement who are attempting to use the January 6, 2021, insurrection as a launching pad for political office.

There’s a paragraph in the Times piece that is worth picking apart. Aquí lo tienes:
“señor. Zink, a onetime church deacon, referenced the biblical Book of Proverbs as he outlined why he believed Covid-19 was a bioweapon meant to convert the United States to socialism, and lamented that the United States ‘was no longer a Christian nation.'
    Asi que, Si.
      Rather than simply laugh off this conspiracy theory, sin embargo, I wanted to dig into the meat of what Zink is sayingas a way to debunk it.
        Asi que, I typedCovid-19 Proverbs bioweaponinto Google. And the first thing to come up was a book by Dr. Richard M. Fleming calledIs COVID-19 a Bioweapon?: A Scientific and Forensic investigation.” (I am not going to link to it, but you can find it if you want to waste your time.) The book’s blurb reads this way: “Claramente, the US government isn’t decided on what really happened at the start of the pandemic. Was it truly a (sic) animal to human transmission to be blamed on a bat in a Wuhan, China wet market? Or was a much more sinister plan at work?”
        Oh, derecho.
          Who is Dr. Richard M. flamenco? Bien, there’s this from a 2018 Boston Globe piece:
          Richard M. Fleming may be a man of many talents, but his record as a scientist has been spotty. flamenco, who bills himself on Twitter as ‘PhD, Maryland, JD AND NOW Actor-Singer!!!", was a co-author of short-lived paper in the journal Clinical Cardiology purporting to find health benefits from a diet with low or modest amounts of fat. The paper came out in late September — just a day before the (nosotros) Food and Drug Administration banned Fleming from participating in any drug studies. Por qué? Two prior convictions for fraud in 2009.

          Yup. A quick look through the FBI archives shows that Fleming was convicted of health care and mail fraud in 2009. Él era sentenciado a “five yearsprobation with six months home detention, including electronic monitoring, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $ 107,244.24.”
          Asi que, that’s that.
          As for the link that Zink suggests between Covid-19 and the book of Proverbs, that proved to be a more elusive thing to track down. While there’s plenty of references to the Book of Revelation among Covid-19 conspiracy types, I struggled to find anythingon or off the Internetthat would explain Zink’s reference to the Bible.
          Zink, Desafortunadamente, isn’t a lone wolf within the GOP on Covid-19 conspiracies.
          In an interview on Steve Bannon’s podcast in June 2021, Representante de Georgia. Marjorie Taylor Greene sounded a similar sentiment. “Why is there any need to create a virus that could spread rapidly to a population, to make people sick and kill them,” ella preguntó. “That is a bioweapon.
          Arkansas Sen. Tom Algodón, también, early in the pandemic raised the possibility of Covid-19 as a bioweapon created by Chinabefore walking it back.
            Greene and Cotton, like Zink, offered no evidence for such a bold claim. (Hay algunos debate as to the origin of Covid-19; most scientists believe it developed organicallylikely from a seafood market in Wuhan, porcelana.)
            The point here is that while it’s easy to laugh off a conspiracy theorist like Zink as a kook, you shouldn’t. Similar views are heldor at least consideredby more than just a fringe element within the Republican Party. And that’s scary.

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