An aerial view shows P4 Laboratory at Wuhan Institute of Virology, Wuhan, China, on April 17, 2020. Photo: AFP

Why 29 percent Americans believe COVID-19 lab conspiracy theory -Study

Web Editor | ConsumerConnect

As prevalent suspicions of a possible creation and emergence of the Coronavirus pandemic from Wuhan, in China, grow among peoples around the world, a recent Pew Research report has revealed that most Americans believed Coronavirus (COVID-19) came about naturally, but 29 percent of them actually believed it was created in a laboratory.

The Guardian UK reports that the last thing the United States (US) needed on top of a President (Donald Trump) still in denial over the state of current pandemic is the rest of the population believing conspiracies about it, but here we are. 

United States President Donald Trump

While scientists across the world agree that the virus emerged from nature, the uncertainty over how people were first infected by COVID-19 has left space for misinformation to grow.

In Britain, that has meant the propagation of a random conspiracy theory about a link between Coronavirus and 5G wireless technology –which almost a third of people say they can’t rule out.

In the US, according to a new report by the Pew Research Center, about a third of Americans surveyed believe that Coronavirus pandemic was created by humans in a laboratory.

Pew surveyed 8,914 American adults, asking them whether they believed that 1.) the current strain of the Coronavirus “came about naturally”; 2.) “was developed intentionally in a lab”; 3.) “was made accidentally in a lab”; or 4.) “doesn’t really exist”.

Most Americans surveyed in the report (43%) believed that COVID-19 most likely came about naturally, but nearly three in 10 (29%) said it most likely was created in a lab.

What’s more, most of those who believed the virus was created in a lab believed it was done so intentionally (23%).

A quarter said they weren’t sure where the virus originated, while 1% believed that the virus does not exist.

Those most likely to believe in the conspiracy were Republicans or Republican-leaning independents (37% v 21% of Democrat or Democratic-leaning voters).

About four in 10 conservative Republicans who replied believed in the conspiracy theory (39%), the largest share of any ideological group.

The research showed that the conspiracy was more prevalent among younger people than adults: about a third of adults aged 18 to 29 said the virus was developed in a lab (35%), compared with 21% of adults 65 and older.

A fifth (19%) of people with a Bachelor’s degree or higher believed that the Coronavirus was created in a laboratory.

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