If time travel was a thing, 17th century Americans enjoying the Salem Witch Trials would feel right at home in 21st century America — awash in conspiracy theories, paranoia and gullibility, void of critical thinking, with “stable geniuses” in charge of things.

Except now it isn’t just witches getting burned. We need a vaccine against conspiracy theories as much as we do against the virus.

In case you weren’t aware, the pandemic is a hoax because people have seen hospital parking lots “almost empty.” Protesters dressed up in their Sunday go-to-meetin’ assault rifle best are certain it’s a plot to declare martial law. (Thanks to AG Bill Barr for helping launch that one with his threat to go after states’ lock down measures). 5G cellular technology is also to blame, don’t ask how.

Never to be left out of a golden opportunity are the anti-Semites, convinced this is all a power grab by George Soros and his secret band of Jewish financiers. Anti-vaxxers have discovered it’s all a Bill Gates plot to vaccinate us against our will. A recent poll showed 25% of Americans would refuse an eventual COVID-19 vaccination.

An online video recently taken down called, Plandemic: The Hidden Agenda Behind Covid-19,” has been viewed 8 million times. It’s billed as a teaser to an upcoming explosive documentary exposing the sinister scheme behind the pandemic.

At the center of it is Judy Mikovits, a Ph.D. biology scientist. Mikovits appeals to your emotions and sense of injustice, dressing herself up as an innocent underdog, free of ulterior motives, a victim of the scientific establishment, virtually the second coming of Galileo. She is the only one who knows the real truth about this virus. The rest of the world’s scientists and institutions are part of a grand design to deceive us.

Mikovits’ and Plandemic’s “truths” are indeed shocking; that the virus was purposefully manipulated before it was “released” because it would have taken 800 years of natural evolution to make the jump from animals to humans; the number of COVID deaths is inflated because hospitals secretly get $13,000 more from Medicare for labeling any death COVID-19 related; that hydroxychloroquine (Trump’s favorite drug) is effective against these viruses; that a flu vaccine injects you with coronaviruses and increases the odds of you getting COVID-19 by 36%; that wearing a mask activates your own virus — ”you’re getting sick from your own reactivated coronavirus expressions,” (whatever that is); that social distancing will weaken your immune system; that Dr. Anthony Fauci “covered things up” (exactly what was covered up isn’t specified); that a cheap, older drug called suramin treats autism (completely unproven); that global vaccination programs have their roots in Hitler’s Germany.

Mikovits’ co-stars are two physicians making a bogus claim that social distancing and sheltering in place are worthless if not counterproductive. They both have been denounced by the two specialty groups they belong to.

Mikovits billing herself as a lone, courageous martyr for truth is a routine formula for generating clicks, making herself a counter-culture rock star and selling a lot of books (her book is currently the #1 seller on Amazon). What she and her filmmaker are really serving up is an all-you-can-swallow buffet of right-wing, poisonous, conspiracy nonsense. In the pandemic, if only a small number of people are gullible enough to believe her, their behavior endangers us all.

Near the end of “Plandemic” is a clip of Fauci in 2017 warning a pandemic is likely in the next few years. It’s staged as if he knew about COVID-19 back then and must have been part of a wicked scheme to release it. Mikovits says, “The game is to prevent the therapies until everyone is infected, then push the vaccines.”

Back at Underground Conspiracy Headquarters, where diabolical geniuses from vaccine companies, the world’s governments, epidemiologists, doctors and hospitals weave their evil machinations, they evidently forgot one thing. Once everyone is infected, nobody needs a vaccine. Damn, they were so close to pulling it off!

Mikovits isn’t the second coming of Galileo. She’s the second coming of P.T. Barnum, who would have loved 21st century, online America, where thousands of suckers are born every minute.

Dr. Brian Moench | president, Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment

Brian Moench, M.D., practices anesthesiology in Salt Lake City and is the author of the non-fiction book, “Death by Corporation: Killing Humankind in the Age of Monster Corporations” (not even close to the #1 best seller on Amazon).