The Plandemic video was produced by Mikki Willis, who was involved in making “Bernie or Bust” and “Never Hillary” videos during the 2016 presidential campaign. Willis is now showcasing baseless arguments by Dr. Judy Mikovits including attacks on Dr. Anthony Fauci. The video has been viewed millions of times in the past month despite it being blatantly false. Mikovits in a video posted to YouTube animatedly described an unsubstantiated secret plot by global elites like Bill Gates, George Soros, and Dr. Fauci to use the coronavirus pandemic to profit and grab political power.
In the 26-minute video, the woman accused Dr. Fauci, Trump’s director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, had buried her “research” about how vaccines can damage people’s immune systems. It is those weakened immune systems, she declared, that have made people susceptible to illnesses like Covid-19.
Her arguments also began to spill over into the real world, including her baseless assertion that “wearing the mask literally activates your own virus.” There is no evidence that wearing a mask can activate viruses and make people sick.
The scene from “Plandemic” was quickly seized upon by anti-vaccinators, the conspiracy group QAnon and activists from the Reopen America movement. And it has turned the woman — Dr. Judy Mikovits, a discredited scientist with various legal issues into a new star of virus disinformation.
She published a book in April, “Plague of Corruption,” which frames Dr. Mikovits as a truth-teller fighting deception in science. In recent weeks, she has become a darling of far-right publications like The Epoch Times and The Gateway Pundit.
The rise of Dr. Mikovits is the latest twist in the virus disinformation wars. Those include Dr. Fauci after he appeared to slight President Trump and Mr. Gates, a co-founder of Microsoft, as someone who started the disease. They have also pushed the baseless idea that 5G wireless waves can help cause the disease.
The conspiracy theorists “recast a pusher of discredited pseudoscience as a whistle-blowing counterpoint to real expertise,” said Renee DiResta, a disinformation researcher at the Stanford Internet Observatory.
In 2011, after her research into chronic fatigue syndrome was discredited, she was fired from Whittemore. Dr. Mikovits was briefly jailed in California on charges of theft made by Whittemore. Dr. Mikovits admitted the link her original research had made between the mouse retrovirus and chronic fatigue syndrome was “simply not there.”
Dr. Mikovits says Dr. Fauci’s attacks on her work date back to the 1980s. In the video being shared, Dr. Mikovits alleges that Dr. Fauci intercepted her research on H.I.V. to make money off patents, threatened her and then took undeserved credit for moving the field of H.I.V. treatment forward.
There is no evidence that Dr. Fauci and Dr. Mikovits interacted. This week, in a statement to the fact-checking website Snopes, Dr. Fauci denied ever having threatened Dr. Mikovits. “I have no idea what she is talking about,” he wrote.