FACT CHECK: Did Trey Gowdy Write This Coronavirus Conspiracy Theory?
A viral Facebook post shared more than 1,100 times purportedly contains a COVID-19 conspiracy theory written by former South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy.
There is no record of Gowdy writing the essay. He confirmed to the Daily Caller that he did not author it.
The new coronavirus, which first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019, has sickened more than 3.2 million people and killed some 230,000 others worldwide as of press time, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center.
Amid the ongoing pandemic, multiple Facebook users have attributed to Gowdy a conspiracy theory-laden essay about the coronavirus. The alleged essay starts: “I’m not saying Covid-19 isn’t real… But pay attention folks, there’s much more going on here than what meets the eye.”
“It looks like Trump is a sure bet for reelection after fending off 3 years of investigations and impeachment, then all the sudden world crisis pandemic,” reads part of the essay attributed to Gowdy. “Stock market tumbles, companies are laying off employees, everything is closed and canceled, CEO’s of giant companies are resigning and indictments are coming.”
Gowdy allegedly concluded the essay by noting that “it all just seems fishy, a little too well-timed if you ask me.” (Related: Did Gowdy Defend The Transgender Military Ban In An Interview With CNN?)
The Caller didn’t find any credible media outlets crediting Gowdy with the essay, however. A version that’s unattributed to the former South Carolina congressman has been making the rounds on Facebook since at least mid-March.
Gowdy posted on his verified Facebook account on April 22 that he wanted “to alert folks there is a fraudulent post attributed to me circulating on social media.” In an email to the Caller, he also confirmed that he never said or wrote the coronavirus conspiracy theory.
Gowdy has publicly discussed the new coronavirus before, including a recent appearance on Fox News to discuss proposed legislation that would allow U.S. citizens to sue China.
“There’s also a need, a responsibility for the world to hold China accountable,” he said. “Well, let me say, if you cannot warn other countries that a pandemic has been unleashed, you have no business being a leader on the world stage.”