DEADLY DELUSIONS.

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Date: Wntr 2021
From: Skeptic (Altadena, CA)(Vol. 26, Issue 1)
Publisher: Skeptics Society & Skeptic Magazine
Document Type: Viewpoint essay
Length: 860 words
Lexile Measure: 1080L

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As I write this story, the world is struggling to fight COVID 19--the worst pandemic in a century. This coronavirus has killed more people in the United States than any other nation on Earth. Almost a half million Americans have perished so far.

Shockingly, millions of people are spreading false conspiracy rumors in the middle of this global emergency. Some conspiracists claim the virus is a "hoax." Some claim that lifesaving masks are part of a "gigantic Satanic ritual initiation" intended for "evil and control." Still others claim that COVID vaccines are unsafe, don't work, or are a plot to inject people with tracking devices. These false rumors make it much harder to fight COVID. Pandemic misinformation is among the deadliest dangers on Earth right now.

At the same time, the U.S. is still reeling from the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol Building in Washington, DC. Thousands of QAnon conspiracy believers and other Donald Trump supporters believed a false conspiracy claim that the Presidential election was "stolen" by crooked Democrats. The violent mob invaded the building to overturn the election and perhaps murder government officials such as the Vice President. Congress and the Senate were forced to flee. Several people were killed in the attack. Conspiracy claims have clearly become a serious threat...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A656765723