Top Conspiracy Theories of 2020


2020 welcomed us with not only the looming threat of COVID-19 but also brought along taped together scientific “facts” concerning the effect of so-called 5G radiation and its relationship with the pandemic, quickly spreading worldwide. Hailing from France, John Gregory is blamed for attempting to establish the connection. Cries erupted, clouding the media as the theory had people convinced they would be wiped out from Corona after being exposed to 5G radiation. While no evidence is offered as an attempt to back up his claim, the concern over radiation quickly became international. 2020 was off to a somewhat rocky start, marking the beginning of what will be a year filled to the brim with false information.

Claiming to be a highly ranked government official, someone named “Q” successfully convinced a large portion of Trump’s fan base of multiple different conspiracies. For starters, they revealed that the government and Hollywood were run by a ring of pedophiles. QAnon had some conservatives convinced that the government was actively working against the Trump Administration and running their sex ring on the side. While there isn’t enough time to unpack all of that, it’s important to note that the Trump administration doesn’t need any help to fail at its job, nor is Donald much of a stranger to pedophilia himself. QAnon, hoping we will just take their word for it, claims there will be a reckoning day. They were explaining that a day will come when all the Democratic pedos are brought into the spotlight. It hasn’t happened yet.

Continuing America’s treasured trend of blowing up baseless claims, Bill Gates finds himself at the center of 2020’s newest conspiracy. With vaccine manufacturing operating as swiftly as possible, a COVID-19 vaccine was at the country’s highest priority. Despite a severe lack of evidence, many Americans were surveyed as believing something hinky was going on with Microsoft co-founder and known billionaire Bill Gates. In February, he entered the public eye more prominently due to his donations towards vaccine research. It’s fun to hate rich people, so, naturally, Gates was pelted with accusations. Americans claimed their privacy was at risk, convinced Gates was planning to utilize the vaccine as a way to inject the unsuspecting public with microchips.

Facilitated by the 45th President himself, Trump brings up speculation on whether or not injecting disinfectant into the body could somehow cure coronavirus. Calling on researchers to check up on his theory in front of his supporters, Trump asks, “is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning?” This statement caused Lysol to interject. They condemned Trump’s words, stating that under no circumstances should users inject disinfectant into themselves. They explain that not following their product’s printed
guidelines could lead to improper and dangerous usage with serious side effects. “Maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t,” Trump replies.

When protests erupted over yet another unlawful killing of an unarmed black man by a white police officer, those gathering in George Floyd’s name suffered false claims hurled from many republicans as a way to distract from the real cause of the people’s unrest: blatant racism. The alt-right conspiracy theorists claim that George Soros, a well-known liberal billionaire, paid thousands of people all over the world to march for a cause the protesters, according to conspiracy theorists, don’t even believe in. This baseless theory takes away from the genuine passion collectively present amongst those demanding peace. When asked about his thoughts, President Trump fails to point out the irrationality of the idea. He instead fuels it, merely stating that he wouldn’t be surprised.

Continuing to ride the wave of racism-fueled factless theories, Trump points fingers at Antifa when a peaceful elderly protester is left bloody in the street by police. Using a right-leaning news source as his only evidence, Trump delegitimizes the police officers’ use of excessive force in a tweet, saying, “I watched, he fell harder than was pushed.” The video is disturbing. To imply that a 75 year-old-man intentionally fell flat on his back is outrageous. His theory not only hurts Martin, the protester, and his family but the many other victims of the police brutality, whom they were protesting for. Many called Trump to apologize for his tweet. New York’s governor tells reporters, “How reckless. How irresponsible. How mean. How crude,” in response to the President’s words. Fanning the flames of his conspiracy-theory-infatuated fans, Trump pushes the blame off of the police and onto the victim, crying, Antifa did it.

Exploding over social media, many point fingers at Wayfair, accusing the corporation of trafficking children. First beginning on Reddit with a straightforward question: “Is it possible Wayfair involved in Human trafficking with their WFX Utility collection? Or are these just
extremely overpriced cabinets?” The cabinets in question reached prices the public collectively deemed suspiciously high. However, Wayfair later explained that these were priced accurately due to their industrial grade. Even despite the company’s explanation, the theory spread. Countless posts displayed evidence, high prices, human-like names, and missing persons. Despite the faulty logic, influencers continued to draw attention to the theory, offering their thoughts and opinions. One couple went as far as to purchase an item from Wayfair, a $17,000,000 desk, to prove the idea correct. The posts concerning their transaction were later deleted. Nevertheless, without credible evidence, this far fetched accusation captured the attention of many before becoming a forgotten subject.

Brought on by President Trump, Obama and Biden were bombarded with allegations stating they spied on Trump’s presidential campaign. Trump partook in many Fox news interviews in which he spewed false claims promising a justice he won’t get, nor does he deserve. He promised the two would pay for their crimes, “Unless Bill Barr indicts these people for crimes, the greatest political crime in the history of our country, then we’re going to get little satisfaction unless I win and we’ll just have to go because I won’t forget it.” Trump later specifically calls out President Barack Obama and President Joe Biden for their role in the alleged treason; “President Obama knew everything. Vice President Biden, as dumb as he may be, he knew everything.” Trump’s promises remain broken, his claims debunked.

With Covid came mail-in voting. A more convenient and safer way to vote. It eliminates the crowded booths, long lines, and potential voter intimidation. Commonly used amongst Oregonians, the shift was seamless on the west coast. However, due to Trump, the transition was
met with an outcry in many red states. Citing little to no evidence, Republicans claimed that mail-in voting was inherently fraudulent. His supporters backed the GOP, demanding that mail-in voting be thrown out, the votes left uncounted. This aversion leads many right-leaning Americans to stay away from casting a ballot through their mailbox. Instead, many opted for the in-person experience, flocking to voting booths despite the many covid warnings. Governor Cuomo explains the strategy behind Trump painting mail-in voting as fraudulent, “I think this is a setup. I think the president is frankly anticipating losing on Election Day.” While no voter fraud was present in the 2020 U.S Presidential Election, the notion that it was will haunt the country for many months to come.

Many believe that due to Trump’s somewhat miraculous recovery from Covid-19 was due to him never actually receiving a positive test result in the first place. There is nothing to back this up, despite many hunches. He received top of the line care, which, from the outside, makes it look like he beat the deadly virus effortlessly. The public found this hard to believe, underestimating the care he received, blinded by the fact that he was put into the high-risk category due to his weight and age. The reasoning behind a potential fake was explained as a way for Trump to downplay the virus’s severity. His contraction of the virus came with some downfalls for the former president, though, one being proving that the virus is not a complete hoax to his number of supporters who choose to believe it.

As if the Trump Administration themselves had set up a reason they lost the election in September, countless Republicans search for voter fraud within many swing states. Desperate to stir up evidence of widespread fraud, Trump battles in many court cases across the country, all
while votes are repeatedly counted. Experts agree that mail-in voting is not fraudulent, unlike Trump and his fan base believe. Convinced something went wrong, theories begin to multiply. The media were often reporting daily updates on new ways the right thought the election was unfair. From people voting multiple times, bags of votes being thrown away, and votes by dead people, the list seemed to go on and on. Despite real evidence not in his favor, Trump litters his rallies with talk of a stolen election. As a result of riling up his supporters, many state capitols face rioters for months to come after November 3rd.

And finally, to bring a close to what had been a year filled with unprecedented events, to say the least, talk of the end of the world. As the Winter Solstice approached, conspiracy theorists cited the Mayan calendar and celestial events as evidence that the shortest day of the year would erupt into doomsday. What has been dubbed the “Christmas Star,” Saturn and Jupiter were projected to orbit closely together. As a result, this short distance would make them appear as one double planet to those looking up from Earth. Extremely rare, this conjunction marks the first one in around 800 years. Yet, 2020 came to a close the same as every year before it, time trudging forward as time always does.