FACT CHECK: Viral Image Claims Cocaine ‘Kills’ The Coronavirus

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

An image shared on Facebook more than 600 times claims cocaine “kills” the novel 2019 coronavirus.

Verdict: False

The highly addictive drug cannot treat or cure coronavirus. There are no vaccines or specific treatments for the respiratory illness, per the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) websites.

Fact Check:

The WHO reported that, as of Feb. 16, there have been 51,857 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, with 1,666 deaths in China and 3 in other countries. The virus, known as COVID-19, is believed to have originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

An image, which features a screen grab of an alleged news broadcast and a still from the 1994 film “Pulp Fiction,” claims cocaine “kills” the novel respiratory virus. It has been shared more than 600 times. (RELATED: Viral Image Claims Marijuana ‘Kills’ The Coronavirus)

“BREAKING NEWS: Cocaine kills coronavirus,” reads the supposed news chyron. “Scientists discover how a Class A drug can eradicate an epidemic.”

However, the Daily Caller didn’t find any media reports about scientists discovering that cocaine can treat or cure coronavirus. The highly addictive schedule II drug can actually lead to long term respiratory and heart problems, according to National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Tarik Jasarevic, a WHO spokesperson, told the Caller on Feb. 8 that “there is no known cure at this point.” Nor does any specific treatment for COVID-19 exist, according to the CDC.

The Caller debunked a similar news chyron alleging that marijuana “kills” coronavirus earlier this month. Like that chyron, the image appears to have been made on a breaking news generator website.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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