COVID-19 is caused by a virus, not snake venom –

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The COVID-19 pandemic was caused by a new coronavirus, first isolated in January 2020. But a viral video has been spreading a conspiracy theory that the pandemic has actually been a plot to poison people with poison. of snake

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A video that builds on several of the major COVID-19 conspiracy theories, and features a new plot to tie them together, has garnered millions of views on Rumblea social media platform popular with conservatives.

The videowhich is billed as a “documentary”, consists of a single interview lasting approximately one hour with Bryan Ardis, a retired chiropractor who supposedly sells acne cures online and is now selling a line of supplements called “Anti-V” — perhaps a reference to antivenom, though the website doesn’t explain it. We have written about him before.

The video is peppered with screenshots of scientific and news articles that Ardis cites to lend credence to its false claims. But none of them actually provide any evidence to support his conspiracy theory.

Ardis, for example, recites some of the claims he’s made before about remdesivir, falsely claiming that it’s a “toxic and deadly drug” used to poison people on purpose. As if to prove this point, the video misleadingly shows a table from an article in which 53% of patients treated with remdesivir died. But that comes from a patient trial with Ebola virus disease and does not show that those patients died from the drug.

In fact, contrary to your claim that research shows remdesivir is dangerous, studies have found that serious adverse events they are not more common in patients with COVID-19 treated with the drug compared to those who are not. No drug is 100% safe, but there is no evidence that doctors across the country are using remdesivir to kill patients.

Using maneuvers like that throughout the video, Ardis presents a wide-ranging conspiracy theory, in which he suggests that the pandemic has actually been a plot carried out by the Catholic Church and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. US diseases to poison people with snake venom. .

“I am convinced that COVID-19 is not a respiratory virus of any kind,” he says. “It’s actually venom poisoning, and I think they’re using peptides and proteins synthesized from snake venoms, and they’re administering and targeting certain people.”

But, as we have explained before,scientists in china first isolated the virus that causes COVID-19 on January 7, 2020. Scientists at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. isolated the virus later that month, from a patient diagnosed with the disease in Washington state. and scientists in other countries they have also isolated the virus. The World Health Organization announced the official name of the virus, SARS-CoV-2, on February 11, 2020.

So it has been clear for a long time that COVID-19 is caused by a virus. (Y snake venom it is not made of viruses. It is a secretion that contains toxins.)

In addition, several competing pharmaceutical companies have developed vaccines that effectively prevent serious illnesses caused by the virus.

Ardis called vaccines into question, however, referring to a conspiracy theory that claims vaccines have made people magnetic. We debunked that theory when it first became popular, as vaccines began rolling out widely in the US in the spring of 2021.

But the lynchpin of his entire nonsense theory is a 2017 episode of a TV drama called “The blacklist.”

After laying the groundwork for about half an hour, the video shows a clip of a episode from NBC’s “The Blacklist” in which the main character is poisoned with snake venom in a drink.

“When I saw this, I knew it,” Ardis says of seeing the Show, which originally aired in 2017, nearly three years before the COVID-19 outbreak. That’is already available in Netflix. “I knew he was right, I knew I was supposed to see that, because it was confirmation to me that other people knew this was planned all along, and we knew it was a plan.”

One of the well-worn conspiracy theories Ardis relies on here claims that the pandemic was planned in advance by nefarious actors – one of the more viral versions of this theory was featured in a couple of 2020 videos called “Plandemic”, each of which we have written.

Ardis goes on to explain that, when he saw the show’s main character get poisoned by a drink, “I realized something: I realized how they’ve been spreading this around.” (Read our SciCheck article “How is COVID-19 transmitted?” for information on transmission.)

The video then shows a hand placing a rapid COVID-19 test under tap water. While ominous music plays in the background, a text appears on the screen that says “LOOK AT THE WATER”.

The name of the video is also “Watch The Water”, which is an apparent reference to another conspiracy theory, QAnon, which has flourished during the pandemic.

That phrase was used in a february 2018 mail from “Q”, the pseudonym used by the person or persons who post cryptic messages on Internet message boards that are the basis of the QAnon conspiracy theory. That phrase has been used to support a number of false claims over the years, including that the 2020 election ballots had secret watermarks and that the “Q” had predicted a container ship support in the Suez Canal in 2021.

Here the phrase is used to bolster Ardis’s theory that public drinking water is being poisoned with snake venom.

“They’re using krait venom and cobra venom, calling it COVID-19, you’re drinking it, it’s getting into your brainstem and it’s crippling your diaphragm’s ability to breathe,” says Ardis.

He later explains that “the CDC is involved” and suggests that the plot may have ultimately come from “the Catholic Church or whoever”.

Explaining that he thinks the CDC is involved because they monitor sewage in some places, Ardis says it’s “like the Blacklist show.”

But is not.

That show wasn’t meant to suggest there was a plot to poison sections of the public with snake venom under the guise of a viral pandemic, Blacklist creator Jon Bokenkamp told us in a phone interview.

That episode was not written to foreshadow the pandemic, he said. Rather, it was meant to show an unconventional criminal using an unusual method to poison someone for entertainment.

Snake venom “was a great way to have an exaggerated but slightly grounded version of the bad guy,” Bokenkamp said. “It was a story.”

He noted that the show is in its ninth season and, like any long-running show, has at times coincidentally reflected things to come, like a 2015 episode called “the troll Farmer,” in which a disinformation campaign manipulated real-world events.

So there is no reason to believe that this fictional show has somehow revealed that the COVID-19 pandemic is actually a plot to poison people with snake venom.

The underlying notion that snake venom causes COVID-19 is simply false. Scientists around the world have been studying SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, for more than two years, and there is no doubt that the disease is caused by a virus.

Editor’s Note: The SciCheck Vaccination/COVID-19 Project is made possible by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The Foundation has no control over the editorial decisions of, and the opinions expressed in our articles do not necessarily reflect the views of the Foundation. The goal of the project is to increase exposure to accurate information about COVID-19 and vaccines, while reducing the impact of misinformation.


Brown, Abram. “Is Rumble, a right-wing social media company, already the next meme stockpile?Forbes. December 2, 2021.

Ardis, Bryan. license verification. Tennessee Department of Health. Retrieved April 4, 2022.

Hale Spencer, Saranac. “Clinical trials find no increase in mortality among COVID-19 patients treated with Remdesivir, contrary to viral claim.” April 6, 2022.

Mulangu, Sabue, et al. “A randomized controlled trial of therapeutics for Ebola virus disease.” New England Journal of Medicine. December 12, 2019.

Infectious Diseases Society of America. IDSA Guidelines on the Treatment and Management of Patients with COVID-19. Updated March 23, 2022.

World Health Organization. COVID-19-China. January 12, 2020.

Harcourt, Jennifer, et al. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 of a Patient with Coronavirus Disease, United States.” Emerging infectious diseases. June 2020.

File, Angel. “Magnetic Videos Bolster False Claim of Vaccine Microchips.” May 14, 2021.

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Hale Spencer, Saranac, Jessica McDonald and Angelo Fichera. “New ‘Plandemic’ Video Sells Misinformation and Conspiracies.” Updated June 29, 2021.

Hale Spencer, Saranac. “QAnon’s false claim that mail-in ballots are illegitimate.” November 5, 2020.

Reuters. “Fact check: Q did not predict a container ship jam in the Suez Canal; ship not linked to the Clintons.” April 9, 2021.

Bokenkamp, ​​Jon. Creator, The Blacklist. Telephone interview with April 12, 2022.

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