An Ex-Google Employee Turned 'Whistleblower' and QAnon Fan Made 'Plandemic' Go Viral - 2020-05-14
In March, former researcher Judy A. Mikovits was best known to a handful of people in the anti-vaccine and "medical freedom" worlds. By mid-May, she was the subject of articles in every major news outlet in America. She was propelled into the mainstream by Plandemic, a pseudo-documentary full of outrageous, verifiably false claims in which Mikovits stars.
In April, an-ex Google employee turned QAnon fan and committed anti-vaxxer named Zach Vorhies was both publicly and privately crafting a plan to get Plandemic to the widest possible audience. In an unlisted YouTube video that circulated in right-wing circles before Plandemic was released, Vorhies discussed his own plan to make the film go viral, which included running Mikovits' social media accounts: "I know how to run a campaign … so that's what we're going to do. We're going to make her famous." It worked.
Plandemic was a legitimate viral sensation: It made sweeping, grandiose, alarming, entirely false claims about the provenance of the novel coronavirus, promoted specious and debunked cures for the disease, and sought to personally discredit infectious disease czar Anthony Fauci, all while also trying to sow broad doubt about vaccine safety. It spread across Facebook through groups linked to QAnon, anti-vaccine causes, and general conspiracy pages, with extra support from ReOpen America groups, before exploding onto seemingly everyone's news feed. It's been viewed at least eight million times on YouTube and Facebook, though both platforms ultimately pulled the video down for violating their community guidelines. It's still available on other, less-trafficked video platforms.