VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – From microchips in COVID-19 vaccines and the virus being created in a lab, to big pharmaceutical companies spreading it, new polling data suggests a sizeable number of Canadians are buying into pandemic conspiracy theories.
The poll from Insights West finds nine per cent of respondents believe the vaccine includes a chip that will track people, 37 per cent say the virus was created in a lab and released by mistake, and 6 per cent think there is a link between COVID-19 and 5G for broadband cellular networks.
Among Canadians, 15 per cent of us think big pharma helped spread the virus.
“It is unfortunate that the pandemic has resulted in a wide array of conspiracies circulating that are believed by a sizable number of Canadians, not by a fringe alternative segment of society.” says company president Steve Mossop.
“The proliferation of these theories has been exacerbated by the shareability of these views on social media, which has elevated conspiracy theories to perhaps as high as it’s ever been in today’s world. I believe that the vaccine hesitancy that we are seeing in this country can be widely attributed to these swirling conspiracy theories, much to the detriment of stopping this virus.”
COVID-19 spreads easily, but misinformation about the disease seems even more transmissible…
This morning on @NEWS1130, we have details of a poll suggesting a notable number of Canadians are buying into conspiracy theories. pic.twitter.com/UZLEIsegVb
— Amanda Wawryk (@AmandaWawryk) April 30, 2021
Men and Conservative voters are much more likely than women and other voters to believe COVID-19 was created as a biological weapon. Meanwhile B.C. and English-speaking Quebec residents are less likely relative to people in other provinces to believe that.
Other than COVID-19 conspiracies, more than half of Canadians believe UFOs exist, while only 17 per cent and 18 per cent of us think the Okanagan’s Ogopogo and Sasquatch are real respectively.
Twenty per cent think lotteries are rigged, and 36 per cent of us believe Princess Diana was assassinated. These two were the only conspiracies where women belived them more than men.
A further 33 per cent subscribe to one of the many John F Kennedy assassination conspiracy theories, 31 per cent say a cure for cancer have been secretly found, and 29 per cent think humans have been cloned.
Finally, 13 per cent of us still believe there is a link between other vaccines and autism.