The first way that those who are against or hesitant about vaccination are responding to the newest health crisis is by denying that it even exists or by saying it’s not that bad and people are not actually dying, says Reiss. For example, last month Del Bigtree—producer of the documentary "Vaxxed" and host of the popular online show "The Highwire"—told his audience that China’s numbers didn’t add up. “It's not as deadly as we've been told,” he said, adding later in the show: “This is really only a tragic situation for a small group of people that are immune-suppressed or elderly.” Similarly, on March 28, Sears posted on Facebook: “Elderly are vulnerable and need protection AND Covid is harmless to almost everyone else.”
Other popular anti-vaccine COVID-19 theories suggest technology is to blame. Keri Hilson, an American singer with 4.2 million Twitter followers, posted now-deleted tweets attempting to link the coronavirus to 5G mobile networks. "People have been trying to warn us about 5G for YEARS,” she wrote, adding that 5G launched in China in November of 2019, and then people started dying. Joshua Coleman, an anti-vaccine activist who claims a vaccine injury caused his son to need a wheelchair, claimed on Facebook that coronavirus is in fact caused by 5G. In the United Kingdom, authorities say the conspiracy theory has led to the damage of dozens of wireless towers and other telecommunications equipment. Meanwhile, Larry Cook, an anti-vaccine influencer who runs the popular Facebook page “Stop Mandatory Vaccination,” has claimed—without evidence—on his personal page that lockdowns and social distancing are a way to make it easier for the government to track people and require them to be tested for the virus. That way, he has said, the government would mandate vaccinations for everyone. “This lockdown and ‘social distancing’ is psychological and economic warfare against us so we will accept mandatory vaccination,” he wrote on April 12.