A Facebook user Koba Janiashvili published a broad post in a group called “საერთო სახალხო მოძრაობა ქართველი ერის გადარჩენისთვის!” (United popular movement to save Georgian nation!) on November 19 about a vaccine against COVID-19. The author claims in the post that the recently developed vaccines are harmful. According to him, “vaccines created in the recent decades contain numerous hazardous additives that can affect the human body years, not days or weeks, after the vaccination”. The given quote comes with a link to a Russian video uploaded by Ekaterine Nadiradze to her personal page where three respondents – Sacha Stone, Rocco Galati, and Ted Kuntz – express their opinions on the vaccination, such as:
- Scientists have discovered nanorobots in H1N1 vaccine;
- England aims to propose a law that would include taking of fingerprints during the COVID-19 test;
- There are big political and financial interests behind the production of vaccines;
- So-called DNA-based vaccines will allow for creating a database of human DNAs that will be used for ethnic cleansing or selection.
The post also mentions the legislative regulations that, according to the author, aim to restrict personal freedoms in various countries. To illustrate this, he cites new regulations adopted in Germany two days ago and claims that through this law, German police will be allowed to enter and search citizens’ homes without an order and otherwise “restrict the basic human rights”. On November 22, „საქართველო უპირველეს ყოვლისა“ (Georgia first) disseminated analogous information.
The given post contains two pieces of disinformation, two conspiracies, and a half-truth: 1) The report about the new coronavirus-related law allowing German police to enter and search citizens’ homes and forcedly take them to an isolation is false; 2) The claim that scientists have allegedly discovered nanorobots with a picture of dragon in the H1N1 vaccine is not true; 3) The reports connecting fingerprints to the testing methods are partially accurate; 4) The reports about financial interests behind the vaccination and its use for ethnic cleansing are conspiracy theories.
What regulations have been adopted in Germany?
The total number of infections in Germany equals 854,500. Under the condition of increasing deaths and infections, new restrictions were adopted on November 18 via amendments in the German Infection Protection Act, initiated by the government and the parliament. The amendments envisage tightening restrictions and regulations. According to the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, the reduction of contacts is the formula of success.
According to the information on the website of the German Bundestag, the powers envisaged in the newly added Paragraph 28a of the German Infection Protection Act only apply to the nationwide epidemiologic situation settings under COVID-19 pandemic.
- Restriction of social contacts;
- Obligatory protective mask requirement;
- Stopping/restricting the operation of educational facilities;
- Restriction of recreative, religious, cultural, and sports events.
The document does not mention the right of police to enter any home, search it, and forcedly move an individual to an isolation.
Berlin saw protest demonstrations against these regulations on November 19. The demonstration, which took place in the city center and included tens of thousands of participants, grew into a confrontation with law enforcement officers. Police used water cannons against the protesters. Opponents of the amendments state that it restricts rights and freedoms of citizens.
What kind of claims can be heard in the Russian video?
The video, uploaded by Ekaterine Nadiradze on November 18, was originally uploaded to Leaha Mattinson’s entertainment YouTube channel on September 25. The eight-minute-long segment, dubbed in Russian, from an hour-long video was published on a Russian site brighteon.com on November 17. The speakers from the given video – Sacha Stone, Rocco Galati, and Ted Kuntz – are spreading existing and new conspiracies about the vaccination:
Disinformation: Scientists have discovered nanorobots in H1N1 vaccine.
Sacha Stone, one of the speakers, expresses this view in the video. According to him, scientists discovered nanorobots in the H1N1 vaccine after a microscopic observation. The nanorobots had two metal plates with an image of a dragon on them. Stone claimed that the nanorobots contained hazardous materials for humans – yet another evidence of the harm done by the nanotechnological “benefits”.
Nanotechnology, namely nanomaterials, have are well-capable of providing a cell with antigens. Therefore, scientists try to use this feature of technological progress for producing vaccines. The most actual vaccine as of today – the COVID-19 vaccine – has been produced via so-called lipid nanoparticles.
As for the H1N1 vaccine, the involvement of nanoparticles in its production only concerns the animal testing stage. According to a study led by Georgia State University, the vaccine showed positive effects on mice and the research goes on in all directions.
Scientists still see the involvement of nanorobots in medicine as a future prospect. Therefore, to claim that nanorobots could have been discovered in H1N1 vaccine would be inaccurate.
Nanorobots, also known as nanobots, is a micro product used in nanoengineering that can be programmed to implement certain tasks. Nanorobots protect the biological system in the body on a molecular level – something that can be used to treat diseases like cancer.
Sacha Stone, who disseminates the disinformation about nanotechnology, is a former rock musician and artist. According to his personal blog, he has been protesting the 5G technology since 2019. In other interviews, he refers to the developments around COVID-19 as a monstrous panic and a pande-mania.
Half-truth: England aims to propose a law that would include taking of fingerprints during the COVID-19 test.
An Italian-Canadian scientist, Rocco Galati, disseminates this information in the video, dubbed in Russian. He claims that COVID-19 tests with fingerprints will be mandatory in England and that it would be regulated by law. According to Galati, this procedure will allow the local government to access a database with millions of fingerprints.
Scientists are still trying to improve current testing methods of COVID-19. Intelligent Fingerprinting is one of the models – it is being developed by scientists from Imperial College London. If testing proves to be a success, the test would show a result in ten minutes, which is faster than the current method and does not require involvement of medical staff. Although the Intelligent Fingerprinting model does exist, no reliable source confirms that this type of testing will be written in the law or that it will be mandatory.
Conspiracy #1: There are big political and financial interests behind the production of vaccines.
Connecting the production of vaccines and tests to political interests is a widespread conspiracy, which implies that the vaccine against the virus is a sort of a tool of financial and political interests. Besides politicians, such accusations have been voiced towards Anthony Fauci as well – that he allegedly would earn millions of dollars through vaccinations.
Ted Kuntz repeats this conspiracy in the video disseminated by the Georgian Facebook user. Kuntz is the President of Vaccine Choice Canada (VCC), an anti-vaccination group. The goal of the organization is to support families to receive voluntary and informed decision about vaccination. The organization is also cooperating with an anti-vaccination committee. In the full version of the video, Kuntz also speaks against masks and claims that it is a tool for psychological subjugation.
Conspiracy #2: So-called DNA-based vaccines will allow for creating a database of human DNAs that will be used for ethnic cleansing or selection.
Other beliefs about the harmfulness of vaccinations are associated with the given conspiracy as well. These conspiracies aim to demonize such types of vaccines. As Poynter Institute reported in October, according to one opinion, “DNA is rewritten” through vaccination. The Institute also stated that a Newsmax.com correspondent, Emerald Robinson, was disseminating this opinion via Twitter. Another scientifically unsubstantiated claim that DNA vaccines cause “genetic modification” was also widely disseminated.
Reuters also verified this information and stated that the anti-vaccination activists intentionally disseminate it to cause confusion and distrust in the public. Myth Detector has also written about the myth that COVID-19 vaccine genetically modifies a human cell.
The claim that the DNA data are collected with the aim of ethnic cleansing and selection in mind, is also a conspiracy. According to a guideline by the Food and Drug Administrations of the United States (FDA), the organization recommends engaging a diverse population in the process of clinical development of vaccination. FDA emphasizes that racial and ethnic minorities, that suffered the most from the pandemic, should be engaged in the process of verifying security and efficiency of the vaccines. It also adds that elderly people, as well as those with comorbidities should be duly represented.
Dissemination of the posts.
Koba Janiashvili’s post in the Facebook group ,,United popular front for saving the Georgian nation!” had two shares as of November 25, while the post in the group “Georgia first“ had four shares. However, the video, uploaded by Ekaterine Nadiradze, has been disseminated more widely with 60 shares by individual users.
Koba Janiashvili, together with other anti-vaccination activists, is the administrator of „United popular front for saving the Georgian nation!“ and often disseminates posts about the pandemic. He also speaks up against the alleged insertion of microchips through vaccination and wearing masks and claims that those who wear masks, have forfeited their minds. Ekaterine Nadiradze is also against the vaccination and 5G technology – something that can be seen in the content of the posts and photos shared by her.
By Gvantsa Devidze
The article uses data by CrowdTangle, a Facebook search tool.
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