A viral claim stating that pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline owns the China-based Wuhan Institute of Virology, notoriously suspected of leaking coronavirus, is found to be fake. The viral claim has fueled various conspiracy theories surrounding the COVID-19 by antivaxxers.
It was in December last year that China announced the first outbreak of coronavirus in its Wuhan province. Initially the reports suggested that the viral outbreak was caused in the wet market. Later, several theories pointed towards the Wuhan Institute of Virology as the hub of viral outbreak.
GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer Linked to Wuhan Institute of Virology
The rumors regarding the involvement of pharma giants GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer with the now-infamous Wuhan based lab started circulating in November after the announcement was made regarding the distribution of COVID-19 vaccine.
A viral post on the social media states," The Chinese biological laboratory in Wuhan is owned by Glaxo! Who, by cnance [sic], owns Pfizer! (the one who produces the vaccine!) Which, by chance, is managed by Black Rock finances. Who, by chance, manages the finances of the Open Foundation Company (SOROS FOUNDATION)!"
In no time the fake claim went viral raising several questions over the involvement of the pharmaceuticals in the outbreak and spread of the virus.
"THE FINAL JIGSAW IN THE PUZZLE Wuhan, China's Bioweapons lab, where it was confirmed as the source of the "virus" poison causing #COVID-19, has a substantial shareholding of GlaxoSmithKline, which by coincidence owns #Pfizer, which by coincidence manages," tweeted a user.
Wuhan Lab is Run By Chinese Academy of Sciences
In a fact-finding article published by Snopes the outlet stated that the controversial Wuhan laboratory is run by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and is largely funded by the Chinese government. "Over the past 40 years, half of its income has come directly from central-government investment; the rest has been from competitive funding or technology transfer. CAS could not develop without the funding and support of the central government," read the article.
It was also reported that GlaxoSmithKline doesn't own Pfizer and rather the two entered into a joint venture in 2018.
However, the facts didn't appear to plug the fake claims regarding the pharma's role in the spread of the fatal virus.
"Sunny Hostin is seriously on The View talking about Pfizer "funding their own vaccine" and didn't take US money...really??? Pfizer is owned by the same company who owns the Wuhan lab !! CHINA gave them the damn money! Follow the money! Retweet!" a tweet read.