As Coronavirus Spreads, False Theories Linking Harvard Professor Lieber to Disease’s Origin Proliferate OnlineBreaking News
tags: conspiracy theories, media, COVID-19
As the novel coronavirus spreads, conspiracy theories about its origin have spread with it — including those falsely alleging that the virus was made and sold by Harvard Chemistry professor Charles M. Lieber.
Posts falsely claiming that Lieber was arrested for creating and selling the novel coronavirus have been shared more than 79,000 times on Facebook as of April 7, according to Reuters. Thousands of posts on Twitter and several YouTube videos have made similarly baseless claims connecting Lieber with the creation of the virus.
In fact, Lieber was arrested in January for allegedly concealing Chinese funding and lying to federal agents. While he reportedly participated in Chinese government research programs in Wuhan — the same city where the novel coronavirus originated — there is no evidence to suggest that Lieber, a nanoscientist, engineered a biological agent, nor did the federal government press charges against him related to the coronavirus.
Lieber, who is currently on paid administrative leave, did not respond to a request for comment.
A growing body of scientific evidence suggests the novel coronavirus originated in nature, without data to the contrary.
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