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Politics

Greek Prosecutor Probes COVID-19 Conspiracy Theory Websites

ATHENS – As do one-quarter of Americans, many Greeks believe the COVID-19 pandemic is a conspiracy of one sort of other to control them, blaming the world's elite but views being pushed on Greek websites, leading a prosecutor to intervene.

The office is investigating posts on social media networks and news sites claiming that the pandemic is essentially a conspiracy, urging people not to wear masks or follow health protocols and refuse to pay fines issued violators, said Kathimerini.

The information was sent to the prosecutor by the police cybercrime unit, on the orders of Citizens’ Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis, a preliminary inquiry now expected.

“We will take all legal measures so that public health is not threatened by misinformation or conspiracy theories circulating on the internet,” Chrysochoidis said, the New Democracy government trying to stop the spread of false claims.

One blog said the vaccine for the disease is being developed under the direction of Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates to decimate the global population without realizing apparently that wouldn't leave people alive to buy Microsoft products.

Even US President Donald Trump has fed into the conspiracies and now adding to it by claiming the country has fewer death ratio rates than many other countries, fumbling to explain it in the face of statistics showing otherwise.

It's uncertain how many Greeks think, as he indicated, that the pandemic itself might be a hoax or its origins after it began in Wuhan, China, but 25 percent of Americans surveyed by the Pew Research Center said powerful people planned it.

And many Americans believe Conservative media backing Trump who said that the death tolls are deliberately being inflated, an Axios/Ipsos poll found.

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