FACT CHECK: Has The COVID-19 Virus Stopped Mutating?

Anna Mock | Fact Check Reporter

A photo shared on Instagram purports new variants of the COVID-19 virus have stopped appearing. 


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A post shared by Ian Smith (@iansmithfitness)

Verdict: False

The claim is fabricated. A spokesperson for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed that there are multiple COVID-19 variants in existence today. 

Fact Check:

The director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO) recently stated that China should have shared newly disclosed genetic material related to the COVID-19 outbreak three years ago, according to The Journal. The director of China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention accused the WHO of “attempting to smear China” with the remarks, The Hill reported.

The Instagram post purports the COVID-19 virus has stopped mutating. The post shares a screenshot of a tweet made by former Republican New Jersey Representative candidate Ian Smith. “Anyone else find it odd we just stopped having new variants all the sudden?” the photo’s text reads.

There is no evidence for this claim, however. The dominant COVID-19 variant currently is XBB.1.5, and the original omicron variant has branched out, according to an article by nonprofit Nebraska Medicine.

A spokesperson for the WHO directed Check Your Fact to a webpage which tracks variants globally, stating, “there are several just today.” (RELATED: Did Marjorie Taylor Greene Make Say Covid-19 Deaths Are ‘Natural Selection?’)

“As to variants, the CDC doesn’t determine when a variant gets a new name (Greek letter),” the spokesperson said. “That’s done by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the SARS-CoV-2 Interagency Group (SIG), which is under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).”

The WHO spokesperson also directed Check Your Fact to a page on the organization’s website, which shows information about new variants. 

COVID-19 has been the subject of misinformation since the virus was first acknowledged in December 2019. Check Your Fact recently debunked a video allegedly showing an Australian doctor having a stroke during a surgery after receiving COVID-19 vaccine shots.

Anna Mock

Fact Check Reporter


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