U.S. anti-vaccine conspiracies spread around the world

Even as countries and companies race to develop a safe and effective vaccine, U.S. activists and influencers are working to undermine it, seizing on the legitimate fear that the vaccine might be rushed and leveraging that to further a broader anti-vaccine — even anti-science — agenda.

It is a campaign that is primarily playing out on U.S.-owned social networks such as Facebook and YouTube, where misinformation about a potential coronavirus vaccine is flooding hate networks, neighborhood groups and “wellness” communities focused on food or yoga.

In these digital spaces, vaccine hesitancy is mixing with coronavirus denial and merging with far-right American conspiracy theories, including QAnon, which claims that President Trump is secretly fighting a cabal of Satanist pedophiles embedded in the so-called “deep state.”

What’s emerging is a sprawling, international movement that opposes basic public health measures, such as vaccines and masks, denies or downplays the reality of the pandemic,

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