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COVID-19 related claims by Ghanaian man in a 17-minute video debunked

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In a 17-minute 5-second video posted by Tino Media on Facebook, an unseen man who is heard speaking in a local Ghanaian language (Twi), alleges that the purpose for the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccines is targeted at the elimination of Africans. He makes this main claim with about 13 other related claims in the video. The video is accompanied by an inscription in the post which reads “Do not take any vaccine; it is not safe. I think the vaccine must be investigated very well before vaccination.”

The video, which has a thumbnail of Ghana’s president receiving his jab of the COVID-19 vaccine, has generated a number of comments from the public, most of them thanking the claimant for the awareness and stating that they will subsequently not be vaccinated.

Dubawa translated the narration of the claimant in the 17-minute 5-second video from Twi to English to give more context to the claims.  The summary reads below as follows;

Interviewer: Let me welcome you. Before we get to our president, I’m sure you have seen some videos circulating about a nurse on the frontline deciding to be injected and in less than 3minutes, she collapsed. Now they stopped the camera men that were around. I will say she died. And a second video of a guy singlehandedly saying that Islamic is against abortion, and the medicines that are being done are as though you’re having family planning.

Claimant: COVID-19 is not “CoronaVirus Disease released in the year 2019’’ that’s what they’ve said for a lot of people to believe. It’s real name is Certificate of Vaccination Identity and the 19 stands for AI. When you take the English alphabets which stands for Artificial Intelligence so it is a Certificate of Vaccination Identity using Artificial Intelligence. Bill Gates has a patent for this called Radio Frequency Identity. It is a chip. They use a material which looks liquid but when it gets inside you, it is an artificial intelligence. It is called a nano technology. It spreads throughout the system and you become an agent so that when you are being looked for, you will be found easily. If they put the satellite and the 5G in you, they will find you. This kind of vaccination identity. The Bill Gates RFID technology that he did, if you do something and you don’t want anyone to steal it, you go for something called a patent to protect it. We have two types of patents. The American type is called A, and the global type is called WO. Bill Gates is American and with the RFID, he went with the WO because he knows he is doing it for the whole world. So his number is WO 06, 06 06. He has put the 0’s there so you don’t identify it as 666. So the number is World Patent Number WO 666 and there are zeros in between so you do not recognise it. Someone who is Christian shouldn’t take it because it is an anti-Christ sign which the Bible talks about that if you get that sign you can’t travel, engage in business, you can’t do anything. Right now, the pandemic didn’t work like how they expected it to. Bill Gates’ wife said that we will die like soldier ants in hundreds and thousands and they said about 35 million Africans would die but it didn’t happen that way. If it had happened the way they expected it, we would have all been rushed to take the vaccine . Vaccine was done in 2015 not today. They started during the Lockstep 2010 document that I brought so the vaccine was done between 2010 and 2015. Covid is also something from micro organisms -one is from HIV that they did to kill Africans in South Africa and the second one is the SARS-2. So it’s the HIV and SARS which is called a hybrid COVID-19. Now the COVID-19, when you look into it, the number of people who have died outside America is just a few. In America, when someone dies and you show a death certificate stating COVID-19, then they give you 19,000 free. There are a lot of doctors, some have died with asthma, some have died with blood pressure, some have died with cancer but you check their death certificate and you see COVID-19 on it because he is going to get 19, 000 in exchange. They did that because they wanted  the numbers to be high so they alert everyone on the high number of COVID-19 so people take the vaccine. China has 1.2 billion people being the first country to have gotten this virus, but not a lot of people died but why is that America with all their sophisticated technology had so many people dying -they are lying. So the American figures are a fake, okay. So that’s the COVID-19 story which didn’t work. They said if it doesn’t work, they will bring another one which is more dangerous and this will be a tribrid which means you are combining three things-the HIV Aids and the two SARS and then they added MERS, Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome. They said that will kill a lot of people in order for people to take the vaccine. The whole point of this is the vaccination, that is the endgame. So even though the virus didn’t have as much impact as they wanted, if you realise they have brought a new strain, which spreads fast. They have brought it to California and London. In London, it is Africans that they are looking for cause they know Ghanaians are travelling, South Africans are travelling, Nigerians are travelling, West Africans go to London so no matter what, if they take it there and an African gets affected, or someone coming from there can bring it to Africa. So yesterday, before he spoke, I did a tape for the president telling him that I beg him before he talks, he should close airlines. As I speak, Belgium and Holland have stopped planes from Britain from landing. They said they wouldn’t let them land because of the deadly strain of the COVID-19. I sent it to the president, he didn’t listen. So the pictures you sent us, that wasn’t all. There were a lot of people that took photos showing the syringe on their skin but it had been closed, that is also going round. If you’re going to inject someone, there is already medicine in the syringe and many people including CNN when because they know we know what is going on, they took close shots. The syringe has already been closed. There are a lot of photos showing we are being deceived. Number 2 they said they were going to let some leaders take the shots first. If the leader comes and it is only sea water in the syringe, how will you know. They come into public to take the shots with nothing in the syringe. Yesterday a lady went to take the vaccine and she said she was okay. We saw another clip of the COVID vaccine where it was written ‘not for use in Canada, america and europe’. Why is this so, that means you know where it is supposed to go. So it has been divided so don’t think that when you see that a white person has been vaccinated and is okay, you the black person will be fine, they are lying. Even if a Ghanaian says they have taken the shots and are okay, don’t believe it because the country they are in, it is different from the vaccines they are receiving. And also, those vaccinating know the vaccine to give to black people abroad when they go to take the vaccine you are not there, so if they go take the vaccine meant for Africans, you won’t know so if you are injected. Oh yesterday, 200 people were injected, only one was complaining. It is not like that, the one complaining received a different vaccine that’s why it is like that. 

Also they have given them legal immunity, there are restaurant people who put a signup that you eat at your risk. How is that government yesterday Britain brought out an instruction for covid 19 that read that if you are injected and you die, that is your own problem, you can’t sue any pharmaceutical company. They have been given legal immunity. The vaccines they have brought, they have written on it that if you’re injected and there is a problem, don’t ask them. America, Britain and Europe have all signed a contract with them. In Britain or America, about 100 people got injected. They gave everyone 100,000 dollars for a non disclosure agreement that says if you are vaccinated and something happens to you don’t tell anyone to become a problem. And in case you die, we can’t be sued or if you get a reaction. Also in Holland, Netherlands, 87, 000 nurses have signed petitions to not be vaccinated. It’s the health workers who would have been vaccinated for us to confirm that the vaccine was okay. The nurse who got vaccinated, 17 minutes later and she fainted. They couldn’t find her to bring her forward to speak so if it is someone else who was brought to us to speak or if she survived, we don’t know. When she fell down, we all saw it. So the nurses in Holland said they won’t be vaccinated. Also they said they love Africans so much so we should be the first to take the vaccines. They don’t want us to suffer or die. So in California and about 10 states of the US said Blacks and Spanish people should be the first to be vaccinated and they said they are joking. 

Melinda Gates also said that she doesn’t want the poor nations to be cheated so we should start with the poor nations. Do you think we are kids? So let everyone know that it is Black people they are looking for. We are 728 billion people on the planet, they want to reduce it to 500 million which is 0.5 billion. Nobody is doing politics. We have already explained that before the HIV-Aids virus and Sars 2 virus come together to be one, in the natural world it will take over a 100 million years. It won’t happen. It is absolutely impossible. They did this in Fort Detrick in America. Please the 2010 lockstep document that I brought, go and read it. It is in there. And they took it to Winnipeg Canada and they moved from there to Wuhan, and they went to the game market where they sell animals called wet market. That is why they did it like an accident. They are lying, it is from Fort Detrick in America. So the person who did the virus is doing the vaccine and asking people to be injected, who is the wicked person?

We fact-checked the claims identified in the video.

Claim 1: COVID-19 is not “CoronaVirus Disease released in the year 2019’’ but it’s real name is Certificate of Vaccination Identity using Artificial Intelligence.

COVID-19 stands for Coronavirus Disease 2019 and there is no accessible evidence of COVID-19 being an acronym indicating vaccination identity or artificial intelligence. 

Verification

The disease was named in February 2020 before a vaccine was found in 2020. On 11 February 2020, the Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced the name of the novel Coronavirus to be COVID-19. According to a WHO publication on 11 February 2020, the name COVID-19 was chosen following best practices and did not refer to a geographical location, an animal, an individual, or group of people in order to avoid inaccuracy and stigma associated with the disease.

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also stated the meaning of COVID-19 in a publication on 1 September 2020. The statement reads;

“The new name of this disease is coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. In COVID-19, ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as ‘2019 novel coronavirus’ or ‘2019-nCoV.”

Claim 2: Bill Gates has a trackable microchip in vaccines through a RFID

Bill Gates has not designed an RFID and has no trackable microchips implanted in vaccines.

Verification

According to an investigation by Logically, the Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) which uses radio waves to read and capture information stored in an object was not designed by Bill Gates.

“Bill Gates did not design or patent radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips. One of the first such patents was taken out in the 1970s by Charles Walton, who went to Cornell, and Mario W. Cardullo. No single individual may take credit for all of the technological advances that lead up to the ultimate development of RFID,” the report read.

Furthermore, Bill Gates has denied this claim on countless occasions. In a media interview reported by USAToday announcing a $1.6 billion in funding for immunization in poor countries, Gates stated that he has never been involved in any sort of microchipping conspiracy.

“In a way, it’s so bizarre you almost want to see it as something humorous, but it’s really not a humorous thing,” he said. “It’s almost hard to deny this stuff because it’s so stupid or strange that even to repeat it gives it credibility,” Gates said.

The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation also debunked this claim to the BBC.

The claim is suspected to have emerged from two possible sources. Firstly, in March 2020, Bill Gates announced the need for “digital certificates” to identify recovered, tested, and vaccinated persons against COVID-19. However, no mention was made of microchips or an RFID technology implanted in vaccines. 

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation explained that “The reference to ‘digital certificates’ relates to efforts to create an open-source digital platform with the goal of expanding access to safe, home-based testing.”

Also, a partly funded research by Bill and Melinda Gates on a technology to store vaccine records while being vaccinated through an invisible dye developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, may also have led to this claim. However, the research shows that the technology is not a trackable microchip.

“The technology is not a microchip and is more like an invisible tattoo. It has not been rolled out yet, would not allow people to be tracked and personal information would not be entered into a database,” according to a scientist involved in the study, Ana Jaklenec.

Claim 3: Bill Gates’ wife said that we will die like soldier ants in hundreds and thousands and they said about 35 million Africans would die but it didn’t happen that way. 

There is no evidence of Melinda Gates saying Africans will die in hundreds and thousands from the pandemic, however, there is evidence of Melinda Gates  stating the possible dire effects the pandemic will have on Africans due to poor infrastructure.

Verification

In a CNN interview with Melinda Gates from last year April 2020, which has been taken out of context by many social media posts to fit the claim, Melinda Gates stated that from her experience and foundation work in Africa, she had concerns for how Africa would deal with the pandemic with some communities having poor conditions such as unclean water and slums. 

“It’s going to be horrible in the developing world. The reason the case numbers don’t look very bad is because they don’t have access to tests. Look at Ecuador, they are putting bodies out on the street, you’re going to see that in countries in Africa,” Gates said

Also, all associated claims alleging that Melinda Gates’ husband, Bill Gates, has also mentioned the death or reduction of population have been taken out of context and debunked by a number of fact-checkers. For example, no evidence has been found on Bill Gates saying at least 3 billion people need to die. Similarly, the claim that Bill Gates has said that 700,000 people will be killed or permanently disabled by COVID-19 vaccines is false.

In a report by Reuters in April 2020, however, there is evidence of the United Nations Economic Commision for Africa (UNECA) estimating that about 300,000 Africans (not 35 million as the claim states) will die in the pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic will likely kill at least 300,000 Africans and risks pushing 29 million into extreme poverty, the U.N. Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) said on Friday, calling for a $100 billion safety net for the continent,” the report read.

Claim 4: COVID-19 vaccine was done between 2010 and 2015 not today, as shown in a Lockstep 2010 document. 

Verdict:

There has been no known COVID-19 vaccine till trials for a COVID-19 vaccine started in 2020. 

Verification

According to the WHO, trials for a COVID-19 vaccine started in 2020

In the 2010 lockstep document titled “Scenarios for the Future of Technology and International Development” cited by the claimant to document the vaccine manufacturing, no mention of vaccines is made. On page 18 of the document, which contains the chapter on the ‘Lockstep’ as a Scenario Narrative,  it shows a simulation exercise projecting the need for the advancement of technology. In the simulated scenario of a pandemic, other technological innovations were predicted and not a vaccine.

Claim 5: COVID-19 is a hybrid of HIV and SARS-2

There is no found evidence to prove this claim.

Verification

According to the CDC, COVID-19 is a new disease caused by a novel Coronavirus that has previously not been seen in humans. Even though the exact source of the outbreak of COVID-19 is still unknown, it is known that it started from an animal, which is likely to be a bat. The CDC further explains that COVID-19 belongs to a family of Coronaviruses which are common in people and many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. They add that COVID-19 is a beta coronavirus, like MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, where these viruses have their origins in bats.

Human coronaviruses include some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses, while animal coronaviruses rarely infect people and later spread between people such as in the cases of two earlier coronaviruses, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV.

Claim 6: In America, when someone dies and a death certificate stating COVID-19 is shown, one receives 19,000 for free. There are a lot of doctors, who have died with asthma, with blood pressure, and with cancer but when you check their death certificate, you will see COVID-19 on it because they are going to get 19,000 in exchange. 

Many Americans who died from COVID-19 are shown to have had contributing conditions to their death on their death certificates where necessary. There have been no public reports that hospitals or individuals are receiving 19,000 for COVID-19 deaths. 

Verification

According to a report by the CDC in August 2020, only 6% of deaths had COVID-19 as the cause while the remaining 94% of people who died from COVID-19 had other health conditions and contributing causes top among them being influenza and pneumonia, respiratory failure, hypertensive disease, diabetes, vascular and unspecified dementia, cardiac arrest, heart failure, renal failure, intentional and unintentional injury, poisoning and other adverse events, and other medical conditions.

The CDC adds that the numbers are based on death certificates, which according to them are the most reliable source of data. 

“Death certificates reportedly contain information that is not available anywhere else and includes comorbid conditions, race and ethnicity and place of death,” as reported by News Channel 8.

Furthermore, in a detailed investigation by FOX 11 Channel in America on how death counts are done and if hospitals received more money for COVID-19 deaths, the claims were debunked. For example, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services says it follows the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines for counting COVID-19 deaths which includes counting deaths that list COVID-19 as both an immediate and underlying cause of death. Additionally, Calumet County’s medical examiner, Mike Klaeser and Bellin Health Physician Dr. Robert Mead both agreed that COVID-19 can be listed as the immediate or underlying cause of death on a certificate making the CDC’s data accurate.

Concerning the payment of money for COVID-19 deaths, the US government provided a coronavirus relief legislation which created a 20% premium, or add-on, for COVID-19 Medicare patients only. This 20% add-on from the CARES Act is only for services provided by hospitals (and not deaths as claimed) which are averaged to be about $35,000 per patient on a ventilator. There have been no public reports that hospitals or individuals are receiving 19,000 for COVID-19 deaths.

Claim 7: As I speak, Belgium and Holland have stopped planes from Britain from landing 

Even though UK flights were banned for a few days in Belgium and Holland in December, it is unclear when exactly the claimant made those claims. However, when the video was posted in March, those travel bans had been lifted by both countries. 

Verification

In December 2020, several news reports such as from the BBC, France 24 and Sky News showed that the European Union including Belgium and Holland temporarily banned flights from the UK as a precautionary measure to prevent the new variant of COVID-19 found in the UK from entering their borders.

In Belgium, the ban on UK flights lasted for two days on 21 and 22 December, 2020, while in Holland, the ban is stated by the government to have lasted from 20 December to latest 1 January 2021.

Claim 8: We are being deceived because there are  a lot of photos showing the syringe on people’s skin but it has been closed.

The photos in circulation are a demonstration and not the real vaccination.

Verification

This claim has been debunked by Teyit in Turkey and published  by Poynter, explaining that all such photos and videos in circulation which started from Twitter are only a demonstration of the process, not the actual vaccination.

Claim 9: There is a COVID vaccine which states ‘Not for use in Canada, America, and Europe.’ 

The claim in question has already been debunked by Dubawa.

Verification

In our investigations, we found that the vaccine being associated with this claim is ‘Remdesivir’, which in truth, is not even a COVID-19 vaccine, more so a vaccine specially made for Africans. Remdesivir is an antiviral drug found helpful in treating COVID-19 patients which shortened recovery periods. The drug has generic versions which have the same components (such as Covifor) produced for countries in other regions of the world, including Africa. 

Gilead, the manufacturers of Remdesivir, explained that the inscription that the drug is not to be distributed in the U.S, Canada, and European Union countries, only indicated restrictions in where the licensees of the drug could distribute it. A spokesperson at Hetero Labs (one of the companies to ensure the distribution of the drug in 127 countries) similarly explained that it was to prevent it from being sold illegally on the black market.

“We think that this photo is part of a malicious campaign to create confusion around this drug,” the Hetero Labs spokesperson said. 

Claim 10: America, Britain, and Europe have signed a contract with pharmaceutical companies giving them legal immunity. 

Some pharmaceutical companies have been given legal immunity from American, British, and European governments. 

Verification

In America, a CNBC report shows that the U.S government has granted pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer and Moderna immunity to lawsuits in situations where something unexpected goes wrong with their vaccines. This, according to a Dallas labor and employment attorney, Rogge Dunn, is very rare for such a blanket immunity law to be passed. This is because pharmaceutical companies are not offered much liability protection under the law. 

“If  you experience severe side effects after getting a Covid vaccine, lawyers tell CNBC there is basically no one to blame in a U.S. court of law,” the report stated. 

Similarly, in Britain, an Independent report , shows that the UK government has given Pfizer protection from being sued ahead of the roll out of its vaccine across the country. 

However in Europe, a Reuters report revealed that under different terms to a deal struck with Sanofi, European governments will bear some of the cost of claims of side-effects from AstraZeneca’s potential COVID-19 vaccine, however, above an agreed limit. 

“Unexpected side-effects after a drug has regulatory approval are rare, but the speed at which a COVID-19 vaccine is being pursued increases the risks of unforeseen conditions. The deal with AstraZeneca, which shifts some of the risks involved in the roll-out of a vaccine to taxpayers, was struck in August and its liability clauses have not previously been reported,” the report added.

Prior to this, the Financial Times reported that European pharmaceutical companies’ vaccines had lobbied to the European Union for their members to be protected from lawsuits in case of any problems with the vaccines, given the speed and scale of development of vaccines which may have inevitable risks.

Claim 11: 87,000 nurses in the Netherlands, Holland, have signed petitions to not be vaccinated.

This has been proven to be misleading as the numbers are a speculation based on a poll.

Verification

According to a fact-check  by VoxCheck Ukraine and Netherlands published on Poynter there has been no official refusal by medical staff to get COVID-19 vaccine in the Netherlands. The check concluded that the numbers are a speculation based on a poll conducted on plans of the government to offer the first vaccine to health workers, the elderly and people with underlying health conditions.

In this report by DutchNews for example, it revealed that a survey conducted showed that only one third of the members of nursing union Nu’91 say they will not accept being vaccinated against coronavirus while just over a third (36%) said they would agree to be vaccinated and the rest were not sure.

In total, 3,300 out of 30,000 union members took part in the survey, which highlights the different attitudes to the vaccine across the medical sector. 

Claim 12: The nurse who fainted on camera after being vaccinated died as they couldn’t find her to bring her forward to speak after.

The nurse who fainted during a live press interview after receiving a COVID-19 vaccination jab on 17 December 2020 is alive and was revived shortly after her fainting.

Verification

The nurse, Tiffany Dover is a critical care nurse at Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) Memorial Hospital in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Both Dover herself and CHI Memorial Hospital have confirmed that she is alive and well. 

After her live press interview which showed her fainting, in an interview with WRCB Chattanooga, Dover explained that she has a history of overactive vagal response that causes her to feel weak, dizzy and disoriented when she experiences pain, which was what happened after she was injected with the vaccine which subsequently made her faint.

“I feel fine now, and the pain in my arm is very minimal, actually,” Dover said.

Furthermore, CHI Memorial Hospital has stated a number of times that Dover is alive and well. On 19 December, the hospital confirmed this in a tweet,

“Nurse Tiffany Dover appreciates the concern shown for her. She is home and doing well. She asks for privacy for her and her family,” the hospital said.  

The hospital also showed a video of Dover and her colleagues at work

In addition, the vice president of marketing communications at CHI Memorial Hospital, Lisa McCluskey, told Associated Press that the claims stating Dover is dead are bogus. She further confirmed that Dover was feeling well and was working a shift at the hospital that day 21 December. 

Claim 13: California and about 10 states of the US said Blacks and Spanish people should be the first to be vaccinated and Melinda Gates also said that she doesn’t want the poor nations to be cheated, so we should start with the poor nations.

There have been no reports by American states indicating Blacks and Hispanics must be vaccinated first. Rather, priority is given to health workers and persons with underlying health conditions across the country with Blacks and Hispanics forming a low percentage.

Verification

While a report from the Washington Post shows that not many US states are recording racial and ethnical data to assess the fair distribution of vaccines, a report from Reuters also shows that Blacks and Hispanics are receiving a smaller portion of vaccines among the representation among healthcare workers and nursing home residents which are part of the priority groups for the COVID-19 inoculation.

The Reuters report stated the data from the CDC which revealed the percentages of vaccination among Blacks, Hispanics, and Whites. 

“Blacks received 5.4% of shots reported with race/ethnicity data, despite national data showing they made up 16% of healthcare workers and 14% of nursing home residents, two groups prioritized for the first wave of vaccinations. Hispanics received 11.5% of the shots, according to the available data, while making up 13% of healthcare workers and 5% of nursing home residents. Whites received 60.4% of shots and accounted for 60% of healthcare workers and 75% of nursing home residents”.

This claim which has been mischaracterized and also attributed to Melinda Gates stating that Blacks need the vaccines first, has also been debunked by Reuters. 

Melinda Gates mentioned in an interview with Time magazine in 2020 that in the US, Black people and many people of colour should be considered next in priority for vaccination after health care workers, given the disproportionate effects of COVID-19 on Black people. 

Conclusion

The claims in the 17-minute 5-second video made by the Twi-speaking man have a single narrative to pitch vaccines against Africans or the Black community. Most of these claims, circulating in other countries already and have already been investigated in detail by other fact-checkers, were found to be false. However, the claims which were found to be true are misleadingly placed in the context of discussion to dissuade Africans from being vaccinated while the rest of the claims remain unsupported and unproven by evidence. The claimant makes a few true, and a lot of false and unsubstantiated claims about the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccines

Maxine Gloria Danso is a Senior Researcher with Dubawa Ghana. Maxine has previously worked as a Research Assistant engaging in some notable communication research projects in Ghana, having completed a Master of Philosophy programme in Communication Studies at the University of Ghana, with specialisation in journalism, public relations and advertising. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and French from the University of Ghana, with a University Diploma in French Studies from Université Rennes 2 in France. Maxine contributes to the team by drawing from her knowledge and research experience in media studies.

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