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Conspiracy theories won’t hold water when evaluated with science, rationality


Alwihda Info | Par peoplesdaily - 3 Mars 2020

To our relief, the mainstream of the international society holds the bottom line – a fair and unbiased position, and has fended off the attack of “political virus” at the front line of the battle against the “infodemic”, which once again proves the simple truth that rumors find no market among the fair-minded.


By Zhong Sheng

Groundless conspiracy theories on the origin of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) were cooked up by certain Westerners and Western media, as the international community are making concerted efforts to defeat the virus.

Such sensational claims are neither science-based nor evidence-supported, and only reveal the dark side of its creators, which further indicates that the battle against the COVID-19 is not only a trial of strength between human beings and the virus, but also one between justice and evil.

In response to these conspiracy theories, the Lancet published a joint statement signed by 27 top public health scientists on Feb. 18, saying “Scientists from multiple countries have published and analyzed genomes of the causative agent, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), and they overwhelmingly conclude that this coronavirus originated in wildlife, as have so many other emerging pathogens.”

“We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin,” said the statement, which showed strong support for the scientists, public health professionals, and medical professionals fighting the epidemic across China, and expressed intense denunciation of the conspiracy theories circulating on the internet.

Such rational judgment based on scientific research agrees with the mainstream international public opinion resisting conspiracy theories.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has reiterated that there is no evidence that the virus was produced in a lab or as a biological weapon.

Russian officials also clarified recently that they never admitted the new coronavirus is man-made after the cropping up of a rumor saying that Russian scientists found the new coronavirus was produced by humans.

Speaking of rationality and justice, these scaremongers seem even more ridiculous.

Previous experiences tell that the origin of a virus is often hard to trace. Although the first COVID-19 infection took place in China, it doesn’t suggest that the virus originated there.

As scientists rigorously try to find out the truth and save lives, these Western politicians and media are making arbitrary assertions and even conjectured a “biological warfare” to smear China.

The despicable political motives hidden under the hype are clear, for which the international community shall stay vigilant.

“While the virus spreads, misinformation makes the job of our heroic health workers even harder,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreye, adding that false information was “spreading faster than the virus.”

Obviously, conspiracy theories not only are a departure from science and rationality, but also churn out rumors, prejudices and panic, impeding the joint efforts from the international community in fighting against the epidemic.

At this critical moment when the whole world is racing against the clock to fight the disease, the world must be on high alert for and resist conspiracy theories, so as to curb the spread of negative sentiment, such as skepticism, anxieties and panic.

Dr. Ali Mohamed Zaki, an Egyptian virologist who firstly reported the first case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus maintains that human beings’ knowledge of virus is far from enough, and scientific thinking and verification are the best weapons to crush rumors.

Science is the sharpest weapon to terminate epidemics. While breaking down conspiracy theories depends on the scientific research on the COVID-19 and the way it spreads, it also calls for rationality and conscience.

To our relief, the mainstream of the international society holds the bottom line – a fair and unbiased position, and has fended off the attack of “political virus” at the front line of the battle against the “infodemic”, which once again proves the simple truth that rumors find no market among the fair-minded.

Virus respects no borders. In the face of the epidemic, all countries are a community with a shared future, as well as shared responsibilities.

Therefore, it requires all of us to conquer ignorance with science, smash rumors with truth, resist prejudices through cooperation and allow no “political virus” to stir up troubles.

(Zhong Sheng is a pen name often used by People’s Daily to express its views on foreign policy.)


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