Coronavirus and Fake News: 5 Tales from Latin America

Quintero explains in PDFs shared by Venezuela’s National Commission of Telecommunications online that the combination of the tea’s simple ingredients creates an “electrostatic force field” that cancels out the genetic properties of the virus. The coronavirus was declared a pandemic on March 11 by the World Health Organization, but countries have occupied different positions on the outbreak’s “curve” – opening the way for some to question just how dangerous the virus truly is. Photos of border crossings taken out of context are offered as a warning that migrants may be bringing the virus from outside national borders. In reality, Costa Rica and Panama have undertaken a joint effort to move migrants entering their countries to Nicaragua’s borders in efforts to minimize potential exposure to the coronavirus. Global conspiracy theories about how the virus started range from allegations that it was created and sold to China by a Harvard doctor to the belief that COVID-19 was let loose intentionally because it is not affecting certain strategic geographical areas. Argentine President Alberto Fernández was quick to respond to the coronavirus by shutting down borders, offering economic safety nets such as the Emergency Employment and Production Assistance Program, and implementing a national quarantine. The highest estimate for mortality rate is closer to 22% for populations over 80, with significantly lower numbers for populations of 60-to-79, according to a report from the WHO. Now, previously circulated misinformation about the dangers of new technology, migrants draining public services, or alternative miracle cures have mutated into conversations about the coronavirus.

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