For Immediate Release: May 21, 2020
Contact: Paul Fidalgo, Communications Director
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The infamous conspiracy video Plandemic has recently spread like a virus throughout the internet, providing an unprecedented megaphone for a litany of outrageous claims about the nature of the COVID-19 outbreak and frightening allegations of vast government conspiracies. But when presented by the Center for Inquiry with the opportunity to back up these claims with evidence, the filmmakers behind Plandemic and its central expert, Dr. Judy Mikovits, became suddenly speechless.
Should the claims of Plandemic prove to be sound, the implications for public health and the practice of science and medicine would be significant. These are, after all, important life-and-death matters. So the Center for Inquiry, home of Skeptical Inquirer magazine and the medical myth-busting website Quackwatch, reached out to Dr. Mikovits and director Mikki Willis with a list of eight straightforward questions about claims made in the video, offering them the opportunity to explain what evidence they had to support them, at whatever length and in whatever detail they deemed necessary. The questions were developed in consultation with virologist Dr. Paul Offit. See the questions here.
Mr. Willis at first agreed to address CFI’s questions, but once he received them, he abruptly cut off communication. Mikovits has refused to respond at all.
“If the claims made by Mikovits and Willis in Plandemic are based in truth and facts, you’d think they would be eager to offer evidence supporting their claims,” said CFI’s Benjamin Radford, deputy editor of Skeptical Inquirer. “What better way to turn the tables on scientists, skeptics, and journalists than to offer a referenced, fact-based, point-by-point rebuttal to critics who offer them a platform?”
Among its many fearmongering and pseudoscientific assertions, Plandemic claims that face masks “activate” coronaviruses, that vaccines somehow increase the chance of viral infections, and that beaches should be opened to the public because of “healing microbes in the ocean and the salt water.” No evidence whatsoever has been offered to support these pseudoscientific claims.
Employing conspiracy theories in service of the claims, the video asserts that the COVID-19 death rate has been inflated due to medical profiteering (regardless of the enormous loss of revenue hospitals are experiencing), that there exists a master plan to “get everyone infected, then push the vaccines”–and perhaps most bizarrely, that “dissenting voices are not allowed” regarding the pandemic, despite the fact that their own video has been seen by millions and books by Mikovits are bestsellers.
“The video repeatedly emphasizes the importance of ‘considering different points of view’ and asking questions—yet offers no other points of view that contradict or undermine Mikovits,” said Radford. “Plandemic made many claims, most of which have been widely debunked. We have to wonder: Where are their responses? Why are they suddenly so quiet? Why are they afraid to answer questions? What do they have to hide?”
The Center for Inquiry would welcome any future response or explanations from Willis or Mikovits, and will gladly provide updates accordingly.
The Center for Inquiry is rising to the challenge of the coronavirus era, leveraging our expertise and platforms to address the crisis from multiple angles. We’re dispelling misinformation, supporting science and evidence-based health policy, and confronting religious privilege that endangers all of us, and we’re collecting all of it at our Coronavirus Resource Center: Inoculation Against Misinformation.