Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: U.S. Embassy Denies Spreading Monkeypox in Nigeria

The American embassy in Nigeria has been compelled to release a statement denying the U.S. is responsible for engineering a deadly monkeypox outbreak in the country. Officials took the unusual step of addressing conspiracy theories head-on by issuing a 360-word rebuttal of the bizarre claims. The document, which was published to the website of the U.S. Consulate General, insists allegations that secret American laboratories are deliberately spreading the infectious disease are “pure fabrication.” “Recent misleading posts on social media wrongly speculate on the origin of the current global outbreak of monkeypox disease, and supposedly call for WHO [World Health Organization] to investigate so-called ‘U.S.-controlled laboratories’ in Nigeria,” the statement began. “Such reports are pure fabrication. There is zero merit to any allegations regarding the use of U.S.-assisted Nigerian laboratories in the spread of monkeypox. Furthermore, there are no ‘U.S.-controlled’ laboratories in Nigeria,” it said. (https://www.newsweek.com/america-denies-causing-monkeypox-nigeria-1711633) Conspiracy theories about the outbreak are not just festering in Nigeria. Recently, outlandish rumors spread on social media in the West claiming that Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates had somehow manufactured the disease. Experts have also branded dubious theories suggesting that monkeypox leaked from a lab in Ukraine or China as “nonsense.”

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