QAnon believers think this Nancy Pelosi video contains secret messages
Nancy Pelosi

In the latest ridiculous claim spread by supporters of the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory, Trump backers believe the former president is working with Russia’s Vladimir Putin as part of the leader’s invasion of Ukraine.

President Putin previously stated the move – which has been met with international condemnation and economic sanctions – was part of a “special military operation” for the “demilitarisation and denazification” of Ukraine.

However, NBC News reports that QAnon conspiracists believe a baseless claim that the crisis is in fact a cover for an attack on “secret laboratories” in Ukraine supposedly run by the US president’s chief medical adviser, Dr Anthony Fauci.

Dr Fauci, who is also director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been a regular target for US conservatives since the coronavirus pandemic began – with Fox News host Jesse Watters previously telling a conference to “ambush” the medical professional with a “kill-shot” argument about Covid.

Conservatives falsely believe that Dr Fauci is behind the public health crisis, and now - in the latest progression in QAnon’s nonsensical conspiracies – they believe the expert is creating bioweapons in labs that don’t exist.

As an extension of this nonsensical narrative, the American offshoot of Canada’s Freedom Convoy – who protested Covid measures by blocking roads in the country - claims Donald Trump is backing Putin to destroy these laboratories.

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We can’t believe that we have to point out that this stuff is – to put it incredibly politely – rubbish, but according to the fact-checking site Snopes, “the claim that the US is operating secret biolabs in Ukraine is one that has been repeatedly spread by Russian propagandists since at least 2018”.

In May 2020, Ukraine’s security service dismissed what it called “fake news” about US labs in its country.

They said: “No foreign biological laboratories operate in Ukraine. Statements recently made by individual politicians are not true and a deliberate distortion of the facts.”

On Thursday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki herself addressed the biolabs claims and tweeted: “We took note of Russia’s false claims about alleged US biological weapons labs and chemical weapons development in Ukraine. We’ve also seen Chinese officials echo these conspiracy theories.

“This is preposterous. It’s the kind of disinformation operation we’ve seen repeatedly from the Russians over the years in Ukraine and in other countries, which have been debunked, and an example of the types of false pretexts we have been warning the Russians would invent.

“The United States is in full compliance with its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and Biological Weapons Convention and does not develop or possess such weapons anywhere,” she said, adding that it is in fact Russia which has a “long and well-documented track record” of deploying chemical weapons.

And rightly so, many Twitter users have since given the same shocked reaction to the unsubstantiated conspiracy:

The QAnon conspiracists are clearly Russian to conclusions…

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