• In October, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Economic Forum to produce Event 201
  • Event 201 was a simulation where a strain of coronavirus found in pigs infected humans and killed 65 million people in just 18 months
  • Conspiracy theorists have now accused Event 201 of being a prediction for the current 2019-nCoV outbreak

Following the global outbreak of the 2019-nCoV coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China, conspiracy theorists have made connections between a 2015 patent for two strains from the coronavirus family, the Pirbright Institute and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The conspiracy was spearheaded by Alex Jones after details spread online of Event 201, which occurred just months before the current outbreak.

Event 201

In October 2019, the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security hosted a “pandemic tabletop exercise” known as Event 201. Event 201 partnered with the World Economic Forum and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to explore a fictional simulation of a deadly coronavirus strain that originated from pigs in Brazil. The simulation determined that 65 million people would die around the world within the first 18 months with no way of stopping it.

Since the 2019-nCoV outbreak, Johns Hopkins has released a statement saying the simulation is not a prediction that 65 million people will die from the new strain of coronavirus. “We are not now predicting that the nCoV-2019 outbreak will kill 65 million people,” the statement read. The last sentence of the statement reads, “the inputs we used for modeling the potential impact of that fictional virus are not similar to nCoV-2019.”

It Began In Healthy-Looking Pigs

“It began in healthy-looking pigs,” are the words that highlight the premises for Event 201. A new coronavirus that silently spread within pig herds, first infecting farmers. Those infected by this new fictional coronavirus suffered “respiratory illness with symptoms ranging from mild flu-like signs to severe pneumonia.” The pigs in the simulation were said to be infected by bats, which are also believed to be the source of 2019-nCoV.

The Pirbright Coronavirus Patent

Many online users say there are terrifying similarities between the simulation and the current deadly outbreak, which to a degree, they are correct. Conspiracy theorists believe the end game is a mandatory vaccination against 2019-nCoV. The belief stems from a misunderstanding of a patent Pirbright holds for two strains of the coronavirus.

Those trying to push the vaccination conspiracy ignore an important fact about the patent. Coronavirus is a family of viruses and the patent that Pirbright holds is for SARS and MERS. As of now, there is no patent on 2019-nCoV and there is no vaccination, although several countries are currently working towards one.

Livestock Antibody Hub

Pushing the conspiracy further, online users point to a $5.5 million award Pirbright received in November from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to establish a Livestock Antibody Hub aimed at “improving animal and human health globally.” The program looks to create an “extensive collaboration” between UK research organizations to research livestock disease and immunology.

The collaboration aims to use Pirbright to bring antibody discovery, manipulation and testing for livestock up to the same level currently seen in rodents and humans. “The highly collaborative work will address the needs of the livestock research community whilst bridging the requirements of the vaccine industry,” according to The Poultry Site. According to research lead Professor John Hammond, “New technology has given us the opportunity to utilize these detailed antibody responses to make the next generation of vaccines and therapies, which will improve animal health and ultimately human health, as well as ensuring the security of our food supply.”

The strange timing and connections between these organizations and the current 2019-nCoV outbreak are an online conspiracy theorist’s wet dream. However, most of these conspiracies focus on trigger words and general statements instead of the intimate details, such as the coronavirus patent that has absolutely nothing to do with 2019-nCoV or the Pirbright donation being focused on livestock, not humans.

Below you can watch all five segments of Event 201.



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