This summer in Spain witnessed the outbreak of the coronavirus and another phenomenon supernatural. Iker Jiménez discovered to his horror that many of his followers on television and YouTube called him a traitor and sold to power. If two aliens had appeared on his set and told him in perfect Spanish that they built the pyramids in a weekend to kill time, he would have been less surprised (in fact, that would not have surprised him at all). That spiteful reaction was thrown at him for admitting that Covid-19, which has killed more than 800,000 people around the world, is real, not a conspiracy mounted to favor Bill Gates, George Soros and Pedro Sánchez, in this order . “They are the same people who called me a patriot weeks ago,” Jiménez said, which gives some clues about the ideology of the disaffected.
Perplexed and in pain, the TV host reacted in August in a confused way On twitter. He was very interested in saying what he was not: “I am not a traitor, I am not in favor of Soros, Bildelberg or Masonry.” The denial did not seem enough and he insisted afterwards: “I am not a Jew, I am not a Mason, I do not belong to any secret or occult society.” Jews and Freemasons, declared enemies of Franco’s propaganda who seem to have not lost the ability to do evil in certain minds. How can you do this to me ?, was Jiménez’s main argument. I, who have analyzed “untouchable” issues, such as “the pedophilia of the elites” or “cultural Marxism” (the latter, an issue that also worries Cayetana Álvarez de Toledo)
“I must have done something wrong for many years,” he also said in a lucid moment. This weekend, its ‘Fourth Millennium’ program returned to Cuatro, interrupted by the pandemic in March, with which there was an opportunity to verify its alleged purpose of amendment. “We have not changed jackets”he said at the beginning.
The problem with Iker Jiménez is that, by recognizing that Covid-19 is a real disease, he denied addicts to the “Plandemic”, the conspiracy theory that maintains that the coronavirus was created in a laboratory to favor dark interests political and economic. That hard core of conspiranoids may have quit the show, but regular fans shouldn’t have been disappointed. Audience data they confirm it. It had a 13.3% share (the best percentage since 2013, favored by its long duration, four hours) and 1,590,000 viewers (the best figure since 2006). He defeated a Telecinco program dedicated to Juan Carlos de Borbón and the cinema broadcast by La 1, Antena 3 and La Sexta. A social repercussion that cannot be ignored with references to the supernatural.
In the vein of its style, ‘Cuarto Milenio’ was another celebration of what could compassionately be called alternative theories to reality. Iker Jiménez ignored what scientists have discovered about the coronavirus and spread with his main collaborators a network of insinuations, truthful measurements and, in some cases, false data to deny everything that has been heard in recent months. The comrades began some sentences with “some think that” or “there are some who say”, a perfect resource for not providing any proof. It has its logic. When they came down to specific mentions, they presented as certain facts that they are not.
The objective was to reveal the origin of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. The initiative was led by Colonel Luis Martín Otero, a virologist and veterinary doctor who works in the Network of Biological Alert Laboratories. Thanks to his intervention, Iker Jiménez was able to visit and take images of a level 3 biosecurity laboratory at the Animal Health Research Center. Martín Otero set the tone for the program. The most alarmist explanations – the ones that their viewers like – were presented as if they were as legitimate as those held by scientists. “Until it is proven, anything is possible,” he said. A relief for conspiranoids, because it legitimizes any hypothesis regardless of the evidence in this regard. “I want to believe”said the poster for Fox Mulder’s office in ‘The X Files’. When you want to believe, everything is easier if they tell you that what you think, no matter how crazy, is perfectly logical.
Although the main scientific institutes of the world agree that Covid-19 is a zoonotic disease of natural origin that has reached human beings through animal species and that it is part of a very long list of known diseases, that is not enough for the colonel. Therefore, he does not rule out that the virus emerged from a laboratory by an accident. The other version – that of the scientists – is what he called “politically correct”, which is an expression with which the viewers of this program are already starting to salivate.
Later, Martín Otero affirmed that “we know, not officially, that several countries are working with biological weapons.” Viewers are not so naive as not to make their own deductions.
The scientific study that disappeared
Going down to specific references, the colonel was shipwrecked. He cited a study by Indian scientists that found “similarities (of this coronavirus) to HIV,” the virus that causes AIDS. The study, more an analysis than a discovery, argued that SARS-CoV-2 had insertions in its structure that do not appear in any other coronavirus. That could mean that it had been ‘designed’ on purpose. It does have four differences with the SARS and MERS coronaviruses, but they are not unique. They appear in many other viruses that affect human beings, animals or plant species.
The manipulated connections of SARS-CoV-2 with HIV are a double conspiracy theory, because they evoke all the previous ones that suggested that the virus that causes AIDS was another laboratory invention.
Given the numerous criticisms received – the article had not been reviewed by other scientists – the report was withdrawn by its authors in early February. This last detail has not yet reached Martín Otero.
The Indian study had helped him to affirm that “there are some who say that it is very rare that nature has done this.” And if it’s very rare, it can’t be true.
The colonel also appealed to a conspiracy theory widespread in recent months that is based on a fragment of a RAI-3 program of 2015 that spoke of an experiment in China in which “mice were inoculated with the coronavirus” by which they caused “very serious pneumonia”. Experimenting with mice is something that is done in many laboratories around the world. It seems difficult that they could inoculate SARS-Cov-2, unknown five years ago, but that serves to link the disease with dark interests. The program existed and was based on an article published in the journal Nature Medicine. Various Italian scientists They explained in March that these kinds of tests are common and that the virus used then has nothing to do with the current one.
The colonel did not say anything in the Fourth Millennium about the latter, nor that the great promoter of this supposed scandal in Italy was Matteo salvini, leader of the far-right Liga, which has never disgusted a conspiracy that cannot be profitable for its own benefit.
The journalists who did not exist
In an attempt to provide evidence to show that the virus escaped from a Chinese laboratory, Iker Jiménez even said that two journalists from The Washington Post entered the Wuhan Institute of Virology and discovered serious security deficiencies. It sounded like a great exclusive. It is not true. Two US diplomatic representatives – the Wuhan Consul General and the Embassy’s Scientific Adviser – visited the facility in 2018. Their report said the center I did not have enough technical staff to work in a maximum security laboratory. It was used by the government of Donald Trump to spread the suspicion that the coronavirus had escaped from a Chinese laboratory, precisely when criticism against Trump for his management of the pandemic was raging. The text did not provide evidence that a dangerous virus could have escaped from that location. It was written almost two years before the outbreak of the disease.
The idea of dismissing ‘Cuarto Milenio’ as a simple entertainment program is tempting (and it is that, like almost everything you see on television). Or laugh at the fury of the viewers who felt abandoned by Iker Jiménez and who believe that there is a protocol of the wise men of the coronavirus that has deceived the whole world. It would be a mistake because in a few months – how many is not known exactly – there will be a vaccine or vaccines to immunize against the disease.
A recent survey says that 68% of the Spanish is in favor of receiving a future vaccine against Covid-19, but that 23% are not clear about it. 16% of British refused in July to accept it. If mistrust of vaccination spreads, you could jeopardize your goal, which consists of achieving the necessary herd immunity. Success would not be finding the vaccine, but for people to accept it and reach everyone regardless of economic or social circumstances.
The question that must be asked is: can we be calm if the success of the vaccine lies in part in what Iker Jiménez and his guests say in prime time?