Disease X: Are US Conspiracy Theorists Earning Through Misinformation on it?

From Vaccine Coercion to 'Emergency Medical Kit' the misinformation is widespread across the regions.

American conspiracy theorists are spreading false information about a potential pandemic termed "Disease X," coined by the World Health Organization. They are capitalizing on these falsehoods to profit from the misinformation.

disease X

AFP fact-checkers discovered that the misinformation, which originated in the United States, has spread to Asia in various regional languages. False claims include allegations that this unidentified disease is part of an elite scheme to eradicate humanity. However, investigations by AFP revealed that videos accompanying these claims actually depicted pet cremation services.

In Malaysia, online posts falsely asserted that nurses were being coerced into receiving a non-existent vaccine for Disease X. Additionally, US cardiologist Peter McCullough, known for spreading Covid-19 misinformation, baselessly claimed that Disease X was likely to be engineered in a biolab.

This surge of false information, occurring four years after the Covid-19 pandemic, could worsen vaccine hesitancy and disrupt plans to manage future public health crises. Experts warn that the lack of content monitoring on social media platforms exacerbates these dangers.

In the United States, right-wing influencers are profiting from spreading falsehoods about Disease X. They promote medical kits containing unproven Covid-19 treatments, exploiting fear and conspiracy theories to boost sales.

The spread of conspiracy theories intensified after the World Economic Forum hosted a panel on "Preparing for Disease X." Alex Jones, founder of InfoWars, falsely claimed on social media that Disease X was part of a globalist plot to deploy a "genocidal kill weapon."

False information about Disease X also circulated in China, with claims on platforms like TikTok alleging that the Chinese government was deploying mobile cremation ovens to handle mass deaths.

The Wellness Company, a US-based supplements supplier, endorsed by its chief scientific officer, offered a "medical emergency kit" for Disease X containing unproven treatments like ivermectin, priced at around $300. Meanwhile, the Gateway Pundit, a right-wing website, promoted similar kits with a sponsored message titled "'DISEASE X' – Are The Globalists Planning Another Pandemic?"

Misinformation concerning Disease X remains unchallenged on social media platforms like X, which have reduced content moderation efforts due to cost-cutting. This allows conspiracy theories to thrive and further erodes trust in public health measures.

Jennifer Reich, a sociologist at the University of Colorado Denver, warns that vaccine hesitancy, fueled by misinformation since Covid-19, could have lasting public health repercussions. Some individuals who believe in Disease X conspiracies have pledged to reject future vaccines, potentially hindering responses to genuine health emergencies.

Chunhuei Chi, a professor of global health at Oregon State University, emphasizes that disinformation not only leads to ineffective or harmful measures during epidemics but also impedes proactive preparation and prevention efforts against emerging contagious diseases.