Some 10 percent of Dutch believe Covid-19 conspiracy theories
About one in ten Netherlands residents believe at least one of the conspiracy theories surrounding the coronavirus, according to study by Kieskompas among nearly 8 thousand people. Belief in conspiracy theories is particularly prevalent among voters of right-wing parties, Trouw reports.
One of the most widely believed conspiracy theories the researchers found is that pharmaceutical companies spread diseases like Covid-19 so that people buy their medicines. 8.4 percent of respondents called that theory believable or very believable. Among people who voted for the far-right parties PVV and FvD in 2017, 26 percent and 17 percent respectively said they believed this theory.
Another popular theory is that a future Covid-19 vaccine will be used to inject people with chips, so that they can be continuously monitored. 5.6 percent of Netherlands residents believe this theory. Among people who voted for the PVV in 2017, 22 percent called it credible or very credible. As dit 20 percent of those who voted for Christian party SGP.
2.5 percent of respondents said they'd believe that the coronavirus is used to hide the effect of 5G towers. 2.5 percent believe the virus is God's punishment. 7.7 percent think the coronavirus was created by pharmaceutical companies. And 8.5 percent think that the Chinese government created the virus to damage Western economies, so that China can have the strongest economy in the world.
According to researcher Andre Krouwel, extremists on the right and left of the political spectrum are more likely to believe conspiracy theories. "More on the extreme right than on the left. The far-right people distrust all governments, while the left believes in a certain shapeability of society. On the left, science is also trusted a little more," he said to the newspaper. "You find supporters of conspiracy theories least at the PvdA, VVD, D66, GroenLinks, ChristenUnie and CDA. Those are the believers in the system. The most suspicious of the system can be found among supporters of 50Plus, PVV, FvD, and [animal party] PvdD."
"It's not so bad if 40 percent think that the assassination of US president Kennedy was a conspiracy. But things are different in a pandemic," Krouwel said. "Then 10 percent is a substantial group that can undermine public health. With vaccination, for example, a high percentage of the population must be vaccinated, otherwise you will not get herd immunity. And with Covid-19 you see that if too many people do not follow the rules, the number of infections increases."