Vulnerable tribes refuse vaccine after banned video of discredited doctors claiming pandemic hoax spreads via Whatsapp

The fake news video featuring Western doctors was banned on Facebook and Youtube last year

Tribal leaders in Malaysia’s most vulnerable communities are warning their communities against taking the COVID-19 vaccine after a banned video of Western doctors claiming the vaccine is unsafe spread rapidly across Whatsapp. The video, which was banned on Facebook and Youtube last year, shows a series of doctors claim the pandemic is a hoax, the vaccine is unsafe, and the whole thing is a global human experiment.

The doctors in this video have been openly criticised in their home countries for spreading lies and misinformation about the COVID-19 virus, resulting in licence suspensions and the banning of this video, amongst others, on Facebook and Youtube. But the dangerous video—the full 28 minutes of which is subtitled in Malay—is having a serious impact in Malaysia’s most vulnerable communities, with tribe leaders telling their people to refuse the vaccine based on the lies spread in this video.

Clare Rewcastle Brown, editor of The Sarawak Report and founder of Radio Free Sarawak, is seeing first hand the effect of this video: “To any sane, educated westerner this video is obvious rubbish made by discredited and bogus outliers, but to a native community leader who gets it on his Whatsapp this is fatal misinformation. He warns his village and then they remain unprotected. These doctors deserve to be arrested for manslaughter.”

Radio Free Sarawak contacted the rural population to find out how far they are prepared for the vaccination program to be implemented by the Malaysian government to fight COVID-19.Lek Lato, a resident of Uma Lahanan Long Semuang, did not agree to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Lek said that he had seen on social media that some individuals get bad effects when injected with the vaccine COVID-19. Wesly Surang from Metalun Murum also confirmed the Murum Penan ethnic group is also not ready to register for the vaccination program.

These doctors have endangered Malaysia’s most vulnerable. In nations where information is suppressed, many communities put their faith in Western people and media. Spreading misinformation through these communities puts them at mortal risk of the virus, often in places that do not have the infrastructure to care for the sick.

The doctors in the video not only repeat the pandemic is a hoax and the vaccine unsafe, but Dr Kevin Corbett from the UK claims the vaccine “will alter your genes”. Dr Carrie Madej from the US goes even further, claiming the vaccine is an experiment containing “modified DNA synthetic to the human body. This is the first time ever this will ever be launched on the human race.”

US doctor Dr Kelly Brogan sums up the deliberate hysteria of the video: “Will you trust GMO pharmaceutical and 5G subsidizing eugenicist technocrats with your health? Or will you see through their claims to a transhumanist agenda that aims to dispossess you of trust in your body, of any agency around your own life, and even the fabric of your own humanity? Vaccination is penetration of the body, mind, and spirit by the State. The COVID-19 vaccine is not proven safe or effective. This is not a real medical pandemic.”

This video may be laughable to many of us in the West, but for those living under oppressive regimes this video could be regarded as more trustworthy than information given by the government. Without a free press actively holding conspiracy theorists accountable for spreading deadly information, how can these communities discern what is true? It’s hard enough for those of us living in democracies, as evidenced by the following these doctor-conspiracists have.

The most notable nutter is Dr Andrew Kauffman, who leads anti-mask protests and spreads his hoax theories to hundreds of thousands on Youtube. He also contributes to Gwyneth Paltrow’s blog, Goop.

Another speaker is Belgian doctor, Johan Denis, whose licence was suspended in January 2021 for selling mask-exemption certificates. He’s not the only contributor whose lost his right to practice medicine: Dr Mohammed Adil’s licence was suspended for 12 months by the UK’s General Medical Council after he claimed the virus was a hoax.

Dr Vernon Coleman is another UK doctor featured on the video who has been fined for misconduct as a GP, censured by the Press Complaints Commission, banned by the Advertising Standards Authority, and received an injunction from the High Court. He makes bank on his anti-vaxx activism by selling self-published books such as Vaccines Are Dangerous - And Don’t Work

They are all members of World Doctor’s Alliance, an organisation set up by Adil to “address some the most urgent and important issues surrounding the pandemic.” The WDA news section links visitors to other popular conspiracy theories, like the one about Bill Gates trying to take over the world.

When it comes to health, misinformation kills. The 1939 Cancer Act prevents anyone advertising cancer cures to patients and the public for this very reason. David Noakes was jailed for 15 months in 2018 for illegally making and advertising “cancer cure” GcMAF. He made millions before being caught.

Most of the doctors present in the coronavirus video peddle alternatives to traditional medicine, whether it’s theories, books, sound healing, homeopathy, vitamins, chiropractic, detox. The vast majority of them have something to sell. Their target audience is the misinformed, the isolated and the vulnerable.

Whilst Malaysian communities may not have access to these doctors’ wares, they’re being sold a two-pronged deadly message: the virus isn’t real, and the vaccine is dangerous. As long as these salesmen have a platform to misinform the public, the entire world is at risk. There are already so many professional concerns about the global south and lack of access to a vaccine. If vulnerable communities are fed false information and do not heed the necessary measures to protect themselves, the results could be even worse.

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Thank you to The Sarawak Report and Free Radio Sarawak for their help with this investigation. Subscribe to receive exclusive investigations, analysis and podcast interviews straight to your inbox twice per week.