CANDIDATE TWEETS CORONAVIRUS MISINFO
A GOP House candidate in California has repeatedly tweeted conspiracy theories regarding the novel coronavirus, a fast-spreading flu-like disease that has spurred a wave of online misinformation.
The tweets, from Republican hopeful Joanne Wright, underline how widespread coronavirus-related conspiracy theories have become as even politicians tout debunked claims linking the disease to governments and public figures.
Wright has tweeted multiple times over the last few weeks about the coronavirus, suggesting the virus may be manmade or even connected to prominent Democrats, the Los Angeles Times first reported.
In one tweet, from Feb. 28, Wright questioned whether Microsoft founder Bill Gates is connected to the virus, a conspiracy theory that has made its way from the fringes of the online ecosystem to the center. She also tied the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, to Democratic mega-donor George Soros and former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
“Doesn’t @BillGates finance research at the Wuhan lab where the Corona virus was being created?” Wright tweeted, earning hundreds of retweets and likes. “Isn’t @georgesoros a good friend of Gates? Isn’t it always when @HillaryClinton tweets that fire and brimstone hits us? Check Gates Foundation and Clinton Foundation for stock sells.”
The day before, responding to a tweet espousing a largely debunked theory on the origins of the virus from Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Wright tweeted, “The Corona virus is a man made virus created in a Wuhan laboratory. Ask @BillGates who financed it.”
Wright did not immediately respond to a request for comment.