These days, even the most outlandish conspiracy theories don’t feel like the kind of thing we can easily shrug off. As many writers have noted in the last couple of years, conspiracies often seem to be macabre expressions of our social desires and anxieties. They blossom and thrive in times of uncertainty and fear, and that’s unfortunately playing out as the world grows more concerned about the coronavirus (just yesterday, Politico reported on certain supporters of President Trump who believe the virus is a “deep-state” plot to oust him).
Business Insider ran a story on the growing presence of coronavirus conspiracy theory books on Amazon, some of which have titles like Jesus vs Satan: The Origins of Coronavirus and Military Virus Apocalypse: Biological Warfare, Bioweapons and China Coronavirus Pandemic.
In response to a question about whether these books violated Amazon’s content guidelines, a spokesperson told BI that the company prioritizes giving its users access to diverse views… Where else have I heard that?
While some of the self-published books do appear to be written in good faith, this is all predictably cynical and, frankly, potentially dangerous in a world where Presidential Medal of Freedom winner (???) Rush Limbaugh thinks a global health issue is being “weaponized” against the American president.
This is gonna be a great year.