Social media reports suggest the COVID-19 pandemic is a simulation planned for 2019. The reports also claim that the virus that causes the disease has not been isolated. These allegations are false.
An example post reads: “This whole COVID thing? This is a simulation. In September 2019, the WHO issued a paper that all the countries have AGREED to do. This is how they got the WHOLE world at the same time has to quit. ” (here)
The report links to a September 2019 report by the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board (GPMB), presented by the World Health Organization (WHO) entitled “A world at risk, Annual report on global preparedness for health emergencies” (here).
The GPMB says (here “This report provides a snapshot of the world’s ability to prevent and contain a serious global health threat. It also calls for seven urgent priority actions leaders need to take to prepare for five areas: leadership, building multisectoral land systems, research and development, funding and strong international coordination. “
According to information on the WHO website (apps.who.int/gpmb/about.html), the GPMB was created in response to ‘recent health emergencies’, such as the West African Ebola outbreak in 2014-’16, which left gaps in the highlighted “weaknesses and inefficiencies” from local to global in the ability to respond effectively.
The 2019 report talks about the need for countries to “conduct regular multisectoral simulation exercises” to best prepare for a health threat, but it is false to use the COVID-19 pandemic as a simulation describe.
At the time of publication, 72 196 732 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 1 630 521 deaths, were reported to the WHO.
Governments worldwide have weighed the need to delay the transmission of the virus through various closure measures against the corresponding economic downturn (here).
The report also claims that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has not been isolated. This is also false, as previously addressed here by Reuters Fact Check.
Untrue. A 2019 Global Preparedness Monitoring Board report advises countries to prepare for health emergencies through planning, which includes a recommendation to hold simulations. However, the COVID-10 pandemic is a real, not a simulation, and has resulted in more than 1.6 million deaths, according to figures reported to the WHO.
This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here.