<img src="https://trc.taboola.com/1321591/log/3/unip?en=page_view" width="0" height="0" style="display:none">
View All Articles

Fact Check with Logically.

Download the Free App Today

Double Check: Is the COVID-19 Vaccine Part of a Transhumanist Plot?

Double Check: Is the COVID-19 Vaccine Part of a Transhumanist Plot?

By Devika Khandelwal and Alice Franklin

Carrie Madej, an alternative health practitioner, really likes The Matrix. Or at least that’s what it sounds like. In her viral video of late last year, the runaway cinematic success of 1999 serves as a central talking point.

“We might have some superhuman abilities,” she says, comparing the COVID-19 vaccination programs to the sci-fi blockbuster, “maybe [we will] be able to think of something and it happens, maybe have some physical abilities that would be almost superhuman.”

Indeed, according to Madej, when everyone is vaccinated against COVID-19, we will all have morphed into something she calls human 2.0. Madej doesn’t really expand on what this “human 2.0” is, at least not in any comprehensible way. Instead, in what can only be described as a run-through of the greatest hits of COVID-19 conspiracy theories, Madej skims across subjects such as Bill Gates, Elon Musk, the U.S. military, and the mRNA-will-change-your-genome “debate.” She doesn’t linger on any of these subjects for very long, but this might be understandable. When you’re a disinformation super-spreader, lingering too long on the specificities of your theories can be unwise. It is best to be a whirlwind, confuse the general public with rapid talk about “mutagenesis”, “hydrogel”, “Luciferase”, and The Matrix

Senior fact checker Devika Khandelwal and I took a look at one of Madej’s more popular videos, debunking as much of the osteopath’s “wake-up call” as possible. 

 

FALSE: The COVID-19 vaccine will alter our genome, changing the way we live and who we are. 

Some COVID-19 vaccines use messenger RNA technology, otherwise known as mRNA. According to the Center for Disease Control, “COVID-19 mRNA vaccines give instructions for our cells to make a harmless piece of what is called the ‘spike protein.’ The spike protein is found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19.”

The science behind mRNA vaccines is not new. In fact, researchers have been studying the technology for decades. Regardless, there has been a considerable amount of misinformation and disinformation—and consequent distrust—surrounding mRNA technology. Many people have been confusing mRNA with DNA, and have made baseless claims about the technology.

Read the full fact check here.

 

TRUE: Elon Musk and Ray Kurzweil are self-proclaimed transhumanists.

Transhumanism has attracted serious attention from an increasing number of technology-lovers. For years, Kurzweil—a prominent figure at Google—has been pushing the cultural conversation toward the idea of human transcendence for quite some time. Similarly, Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX and Tesla Automotive, has been a vocal advocate of the theory of transhumanism. At a World Government Summit in Dubai, Musk argued that to avoid becoming redundant in the face of artificial intelligence, we must merge with machines.

Read the full fact check here.

 

FALSE: mRNA vaccines can reprogram a stem cell.

Darko Zdravic, an immunologist and hematologist working on clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines in Canada, spoke to Logically about this claim:

"Madej's claims of the mRNA vaccine being capable of reprogramming stem cells with the implication of it being dangerous [are] absolute nonsense," Zdravic explains. "Her claim that mRNA vaccines [are] capable of reprogramming human stem cells is not based on any factually correct or contextually relevant information in the medical and scientific literature.

There is absolutely no current evidence or research data which supports such an absurdly unrealistic and false claim.

According to my knowledge and understanding of the current medical and scientific literature, there is absolutely no current evidence or research data which supports such an absurdly unrealistic and false claim. My understanding of stem cell genetic reprogramming, and the current mechanisms of how mRNA vaccines work lead me to believe that Dr. Madej either has no idea what she is talking about, or that she is deliberately spreading false and misleading information about how the current COVID-19 vaccines work, and the ultimately baseless claim that they are actually dangerous to patients."

Read the full fact check here.

mRNA is not the same as DNA, and it can’t combine with our DNA to change our genetic code.

FALSE: COVID-19 vaccines may cause an increase in cancer rates, an increase in mutant gene rates, and an increase in the number of autoimmune reactions.

There is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines will lead to an increase in cancer rates. There is also no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines will lead to an increase in mutant gene rates. According to Nature, the word "mutation" typically refers to a change that affects the nucleic acids. In cellular organisms, these nucleic acids are the building blocks of DNA." In other words, gene mutation is a permanent alteration in the DNA sequence. As the Vaccine Alliance says, "mRNA is not the same as DNA, and it can’t combine with our DNA to change our genetic code.”

Read the full fact check here.

 

FALSE: Ferrets had a poor reaction to the Moderna vaccine.

Moderna's vaccine was only tested on mice and macaques. It was not tested on ferrets. On the other hand, an Australian biosecurity laboratory tested two different vaccines on ferrets.

Read the full fact check here.

 

FALSE: Genetically modified fruits and vegetables are not as healthy as genetically unmodified fruits and vegetables.

Many GMO food advocates state that using GMO technology improves plant productivity and develops nutrient-fortified staple food, which is seen as a promising solution to malnutrition and food shortage. Major health groups, including the American Medical Association and the World Health Organization, have also concluded that genetically modified foods are safe for consumers.

Read the full fact check here.

 

MISLEADING: The COVID-19 vaccine is a transfection agent that will genetically modify us.

According to Mirus Bio, a medical corporation dedicated to the study of transfection, transfection can be defined “as the introduction of DNA or RNA into eukaryotic cells. Transfection is how your immune system responds to a vaccine and creates the antibodies for it, which in essence is what this RNA vaccine does."

COVID-19 vaccines are not transfection agents, and they will not change your DNA. According to Poynter, "rather than changing DNA, these vaccines are designed to deliver the instructions for proteins to recreate an immune response to COVID-19 using the virus' genes.”

Read the full fact check here.

 

FALSE: After we are all vaccinated,  the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will own part of everyone’s genome.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has committed millions of dollars to research treatments and vaccines for COVID-19. They are not "implanting people with microchips" and they will not own part of everyone's genome once people are vaccinated.

In December 2020, Reuters reported that a video was widely circulated online claiming that Gates got caught “admitting vaccine [sic] will change our DNA forever.”

While the footage of Gates used in the video was authentic, his words were taken out of context and misconstrued.

While the footage of Gates used in the video was authentic, his words were taken out of context and misconstrued. In the video, Gates is saying that RNA vaccines “put instructions in the code to make that shape” referring to the “genetic code needed” to produce a pathogen’s antigen, which does not mean that mRNA vaccine will genetically modify humans, and does not mean Gates will own part of everyone's genome.

Read the full fact check here.

 

FALSE: Hydrogels can gather information on your menstrual cycle, emotions, and nutrient levels.

Hydrogels are water-absorbing polymers. They are found in a diverse range of products, from contact lenses, diapers, hair products, and soil hydration products.

Hydrogels do not have the magical properties that Madej talks about. Nor were they invented by DARPA, the Department of Advanced Research Projects Agency. Though DARPA seems to have used hydrogels in its research and development, It did not invent or discover hydrogels. In 1960, two chemists called Otto Wichterle and Drahoslav Lím reported the first hydrogel while working at the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry in Prague.

Read the full fact check here.

 

MISLEADING: Bill Gates is a eugenicist.

Bill Gates does not seem to have publicly spoken about eugenics. He has, however, spoken of his concerns about overpopulation. "Africa must almost quadruple its agricultural productivity to feed itself,” Gates has said to the Guardian. “That’s very daunting.”

While many people think that rapidly expanding populations is a valid concern, the idea that overpopulation is a problem has been deemed, among other things, a eugenicist one. "The solution to overpopulation is not to force people to have fewer children," Michael Shermer writes in Scientific American. "China's one-child policy showed the futility of that experiment. It is to raise the poorest nations out of poverty through democratic governance, free trade, access to birth control, and the education and economic empowerment of women.”

Read the full fact check here.

 

MISLEADING: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation wants to eradicate mosquitoes. But when you exterminate an entire species, you affect an entire ecosystem.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation does not want to kill all mosquitoes, just the ones responsible for spreading malaria. In 2000, the Foundation gave around $2 billion worth of grants to combat malaria. In 2018, they put $4.1 million towards a new approach: "dispatching a lab-engineered force of male-only mosquitoes built to essentially murder their own offspring.”

Read the full fact check here.

 

MISLEADING: With COVID-19, vaccine manufacturers have zero liability for any harm done. If people are killed, if they're hurt if they're paralyzed, if they're maimed for life, it doesn't matter.

In the U.S., COVID-19 vaccine injuries are covered under a program called the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program, which provides liability protection for companies that develop vaccines, medicines, and other products that are intended to end a pandemic or other emergency.  There is also a law called the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness, or PREP Act. This excludes tort claims from products that help control a public-health crisis.

COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers are exempt from future product liability claims. The safeguard from liabilities is to make sure manufacturers are not discouraged from supplying vaccination.

Read the full fact check here.

 

FALSE: When drug companies say mRNA vaccines won’t alter our DNA, they are lying.

mRNA-based vaccines cannot change our DNA. As the Vaccine Alliance reports, "mRNA is not the same as DNA, and it can’t combine with our DNA to change our genetic code." mRNA vaccines give the body instructions on how to make the proteins on the surface of the virus. The body uses this mRNA to build its own copies of these proteins that the immune system responds to by producing antibodies and providing protection if the person catches the virus.

Read the full fact check here.

 

Correction: a previous version of this article used the title Dr. to refer to Darko Zdravic. Zdravic is a post-graduate researcher in immunology but has not yet been awarded a PhD.

Related Articles