By Jennifer Warner
Conspiracy theories have long since been a coping mechanism for those unable to personally justify a given outcome.
In moments of perceived tragedy, conspiracy theorists take comfort in believing, without any real evidence, that there is some sort of grand scheme responsible for the cataclysms they cannot bear.
In the past, these theories allowed smaller, misinformed breakout groups to commiserate as they processed the happenings of the world.
But, as a result of the 2016 Presidential Election, conspiracy theorists were given the gift of a worldwide mouthpiece when Donald Trump was elected as the 45th president of the United States of America.
While our government is built on a system of checks and balances to share power and hold each other accountable, this system does little to hinder the influence of a hasty, misguided tweet or a fictitious rally tangent.
Trump has used his platform to broadly spread dangerously inaccurate information. Here are some of the wild albeit disproven conspiracy theories our soon-to-be former president has publicly endorsed.
Conspiracy: “Global warming is a total, and very expensive, hoax,” Trump tweeted on Dec. 6, 2013.
Reality: According to the American Chemical Society, NASA, the American Geophysical Union, the American Medical Association, and more, climate change is undeniably occurring as a result of human activities and the global release of greenhouse gases, and the consequences will be catastrophic at the current warming rate.
Conspiracy: In the summer of 2020, Trump retweeted a false claim that the CDC secretly admitted to misreporting COVID-19 deaths, stating that virus was only responsible for 6% of reported deaths.
Reality: According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, 6% of reported deaths list COVID-19 as the sole cause of death, while the other 94% list other serious comorbidities in addition to the virus.
Conspiracy: “We believe these people are thieves,” Trump tweeted on Nov. 8, 2020 in the wake of his loss to President Elect Joe Biden.
“This was a stolen election,” Trump also tweeted in his refusal to accept defeat.
Reality: According to Attorney General William Bar, the Elections Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council, and countless judges on both state and federal levels, there is no proof to substantiate the claim that there was any fraud present in the 2020 election.
Listed above are only a handful of the dozens of conspiracy theories Trump has historically and irresponsibly touted.
Now, more than ever, our country is in need of public officials who think critically and use their platforms to share information rooted in facts, evidence, and science.
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