An enduring claim about the Covid-19 pandemic has been consistently repeated by Scottish accounts on social media in recent weeks.
Variations of the claim have also been shared at protests and on posters regularly placed across the country.
It suggests that the Covid-19 virus does not exist, and that the government has admitted as much.
Ferret Fact Service looked at this claim and found it False.
Since the pandemic began, claims questioning the severity of Covid-19 have spread online. One widely-shared conspiracy theory about it is that the virus does not actually exist. This is regularly shared on Scottish conspiracy sites on Facebook, and has appeared on banners and activist material at protests in Glasgow.
This has led Covid-19 sceptics to question official health bodies in various countries over the virus, often using freedom of information (FOI) requests.
The claim suggesting that the government admitted that the Covid-19 virus doesn’t exist is based on FOI responses from Public Health Scotland, Public Health England and the Department of Health and Social Care.
These responses do not state the Covid-19 virus doesn’t exist. They explain that these public bodies do not hold the information being asked for by the requester or that the request has been rejected because it would take too long to process.
The Covid-19 virus has been proven to exist and has been isolated numerous times by scientists around the world.
Covid-19’s genome has been sequenced multiple times too. This is the process whereby scientists work out the order of bases or letters that make up a virus’s genetic material. This helps scientists to work out how the virus develops and changes.
The existence of Covid-19 has been well-documented and is recognised by scientists across the globe and by recognised public health bodies.
Ferret Fact Service verdict: False
None of the governments in the UK have admitted that the Covid-19 virus does not exist. Covid-19 has been proven to be the cause of serious illness and death in people across the world. There have been 16,744 deaths in Scotland since the beginning of the pandemic where Covid-19 was included on the death certificate. More than 217,000 people across the UK have died.
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