April 27, 2020

The people who spread these manufactured conspiracy theories deserve a special place in hell -- and so does Google, which makes a lot of money off these parasites. The random victims of these nut jobs are going through torture. Via CNN's New Day, a story about Maatje Benassi, a U.S. Army Sergeant who took place in the Military World Games, held in Wuhan last year:

Maatje Benassi competed in the cycling competition there, suffering an accident on the final lap that left her with a fractured rib and a concussion. Despite the crash, Benassi still finished the race, but it turned out to be the start of something worse. While hundreds of athletes from the US military took part in the games, Maatje Benassi was plucked out of the group and given a starring role in the conspiracy theory.

Perhaps the most prominent cheerleader of the idea that Benassi had a role in the imaginary plot to infect the world is George Webb, a prolific 59-year-old American misinformation peddler. Webb has for years regularly streamed hours of diatribe live on YouTube, where he has amassed more than 27 million views and almost 100,000 followers.

In 2017, CNN revealed how Webb was part of a trio of conspiracy theorists that pushed a false rumor about a cargo ship with a "dirty bomb" that was set to arrive at the Port of Charleston in South Carolina. The bomb never materialized, but the claims did lead to parts of the port -- one of the biggest in America -- being shut down for a time as a safety precaution.

Until recently, Webb said, his YouTube videos included advertisements -- meaning the platform, which is owned by Google, was making money from Webb's misinformation, as was Webb himself.

Benassi has never had COVID-19. This story was literally made up out of nothing. Something needs to happen to protect ordinary citizens who are targeted like this. Ironically, the same kind of people who think coronavirus is no big deal are the same kind of people saying Benassi should be shot.

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