NEW THREAT: Spanish Language Radio Spreading Baseless Right-Wing Conspiracy Theories


NBC News:

On a recent show on Actualidad, a Miami AM radio station, the host was promoting a false cure for Covid-19: the use of ivermectin, a drug used to deworm animals. The Food and Drug Administration has been warning against its use and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has cautioned that poison centers are reporting an increase in severe illnesses caused by people taking the drug.

The host said on Aug. 23 that he could cite clinical trials from Latin America “where doctors are using ivermectin with extraordinary results” and “people recover in three or four days.” He falsely suggested that ivermectin was not being promoted for Covid by government health officials because it “costs 20 cents per pill and with three or four, or five pills, you’re done. Pharmaceutical companies don’t make much money.”

Florida is grappling with record numbers of Covid-19 cases and deaths, as well as a surge in hospitalizations as a result of the more contagious delta variant. Yet on Spanish-language radio, hosts are pushing right-wing conspiracy theories similar to those heard on English-language shows. Just recently, three English-language conservative radio hosts who railed against vaccines died from Covid-19.

Amid a surge in Covid cases across the country, medical disinformation in Spanish persists on AM radio, social media and closed messaging apps, with people claiming that masks do not work and the vaccine is dangerous and part of the “global reset.”

Many of the influencers and groups that are spreading such conspiracy theories in Spanish are the same ones that spread disinformation leading up to the 2020 presidential elections, continuing with false narratives about electoral fraud and the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.

Now, they have moved to medical disinformation. A common theme in many posts is comparing international government responses to the pandemic to Nazi Germany, with groups claiming lockdowns as well as mask and vaccine mandates are the beginning of global tyranny. Many of the claims being made in Spanish are not much different from those in English and other languages throughout the world.

Joan Donovan, research director of Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, said researchers are not sure how much of the Covid-19 disinformation is truly coordinated versus just tapping into “known tropes that tend to mobilize people,” like the idea that individual freedom is being taken away, or that independent choices are going to be criminalized.

“That’s when we start getting into some really dangerous territory,” Donovan said, “when people are being mobilized by disinformation and are making decisions based upon things like medical misinformation, for instance, leaving to get up out of their houses and go to the school board meetings and talk about masks being somehow oppressive, or to talk about vaccines being microchipped.”

There is evidence people are mobilizing based on the false information they are seeing and reading. In a popular FaceBook page in Spanish, an influencer calls school board members in Florida who voted to mask school children “communist” and equated vaccine mandates to “tyranny against liberty.”

Trope, nigga.

It’s what’s for dinner.

You can’t make your own decisions, but if you think you can’t make your own decisions – that’s dangerous territory.

So are Latinos right-wing?

Are they… natural conservatives?

Well, maybe Cubans are – who knows.

But it doesn’t really apply here, because this flu issue is not political, in terms of if you actually get a positive test for the alleged virus.

The Great Reset global tyranny agenda really isn’t political either, if you’re not politically minded. This is going to affect real people in real ways. It is just logical to be against it. If you don’t support a bizarre anal-feminist vaccination agenda, then you really have nothing to gain from a Great Reset, whatever your race.

But of course, the media cannot possibly consider any nuance in anything, and has to claim that Mexicans are turning into neo-Nazis.