Cover Image: Plandemic creator Mikki Willis. Source: YouTube
In early May, a YouTube video titled Plandemic was released by Mikki Willis (credited onscreen as “father/filmaker”[sic]). It featured a lengthy interview with virologist Judy Mikovits, who offered scattershot conspiracy-laden assertions about the “truth” behind the COVID-19 pandemic, prefaced by claims of having been framed for a crime (she was charged with theft in 2011) and accusations of government coverups going back decades involving various medical authorities, including Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Willis’s voiceover gravely warned that “for exposing their deadly secrets, the minions of Big Pharma have waged war on Dr. Mikovits,” who in the film (and in her new book) “bravely” reveals “the plague of corruption that places all human life in danger.”
Dozens of claims appeared in the twenty-six-minute video, some of which are unverifiable—as conspiracy theories tend to be. But many statements made by Mikovits have been investigated and proven to be misleading or simply false. Within weeks, the video was widely shared on social media, often by ostensibly non-conspiracy promoters who were “just asking questions.” The video was soon identified as containing dangerous misinformation by social media platforms, including Facebook and YouTube, and removed. This in turn reinforced the idea that the views were being silenced and censored by Big Pharma, Big Tech, or some other sinister, shadowy Big Something.
Questions about false and misleading claims in Plandemic were soon raised by journalists for publications, including the Washington Post and the Atlantic, as well as Politifact. Working with Barry Karr and Paul Fidalgo, I reviewed the video and, in collaboration with Dr. Paul Offit, composed a list of eight simple questions about claims made in the video (see sidebar). Fidalgo contacted Willis, who agreed in writing to respond to our questions. The Center for Inquiry waited several days for a response and then followed up with a query asking Willis to confirm he received the questions and would be offering answers as agreed. No response has been forthcoming.
If the claims made by Mikovits and Willis in Plandemic are based in truth and facts, you’d think they would be eager to offer evidence supporting their claims. What better way to turn the tables on scientists, skeptics, and journalists than to offer a referenced, fact-based, point-by-point rebuttal to critics who offer them a platform? We have to wonder: Where are their responses? Why are they so quiet after repeated claims of silencing? Why are they afraid to answer questions?
Perhaps the answer is simple: Plandemic was never about finding truth but instead a wildly successful publicity stunt for both Mikovits’s book Plague of Corruption: Restoring Faith in the Promise of Science (which soon topped best-seller lists) and a future full-length feature documentary.