A viral WhatsApp message claims Nobel laureate Luc Montagnier said that there is no chance of survival for people who have received any of the Covid-19 vaccines. The message attributes multiples quotes to him and shares a link to an article by lifesitenews.com to back the claim. Additionally, a link to Montagnier’s Wikipedia page is also shared.
According to the official website of the Nobel Prize, French virologist Luc Montagnier was awarded for his contribution to the discovery of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in 2008, however, he has since been in the news for expressing pseudoscientific sentiments. French outlet Science Feedback reported last year that Montagnier inaccurately claimed that the novel coronavirus is man-made and contains genetic material from HIV.
Alt News noticed that the article titled Nobel Prize winner: Mass COVID vaccination an ‘unacceptable mistake’ that is ‘creating the variants’ by Life Site News does not attribute quote — “There is no hope and no possible treatment for those who have been vaccinated already. We must be prepared to incinerate the bodies” — mentioned in the WhatsApp text to Montagnier. The article was published on May 19.
The article by Life Site News is based on an article by US-based NGO RAIR Foundation published on May 18. This article includes a two-minute clip from Montagnier’s interview. The full 11-minute version of this interview was uploaded to the French website Planet 360. Montagnier believes new COVID variants have been created due to vaccines. In the two-minute clip, he was asked, “How do you view the mass vaccination program? Mass vaccination compared to treatments that work and aren’t expensive.” Montagnier replied, “It’s an enormous mistake, isn’t it? A scientific error as well as a medical error. It is an unacceptable mistake. The history books will show that because it is the vaccination that is creating the variants…” [The section in bold was included in the WhatsApp message.]
Readers should note that Montagnier is known for his anti-vaccine stance. Founding editor of Alt News Science Dr Sumaiya Shaikh opined, “It’s the opposite of what Montagnier said. The virus transmission is reduced with vaccines. In order to multiply in the body, viruses make an enormous amount of copies of each other. This process allows the genetic material of the virus to replicate itself several times. This replication can cause random ‘mistakes’ in the genetic material, called mutations. When the mutated virus replicates further to create copies of each other, the mutation spreads in the person. The person with the mutated virus infection can then infect others. Thus, by vaccinating, and inhibiting the spread of the infection, the virus spread is halted and thereby, the new mutations, if at all, have fewer chances to spread in the community. Vaccines prevent widespread replication across a large population which ultimately reduces the creation of new variants.”
Assam police posted an alert on Facebook about the misleading WhatsApp message.
French virologist Luc Montagnier did not say “there is no hope and no possible treatment for those who have been vaccinated already. We must be prepared to incinerate the bodies.” However, he is known for expressing anti-vaccine sentiments in the past as well.
In 2010, Montagnier gave a shocking speech at Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Germany. He presented a new method for detecting viral infections that bore close parallels to the basic tenets of homoeopathy. This was reported by The Australian. The official website of Lindau Nobel also published a blog on Montagnier’s comments.
Alt News Science had published an article titled, ‘Is Homeopathy an effective form of treatment?‘ in 2018 which concluded that according to the modern scientific explanation homoeopathic drugs can only be attributed to their placebo effect.
In 2012, Forbes published an article with the headline ‘Nobel laureate joins anti-vaccination crowd at Autism One‘. The article pointed out that Montagnier hasn’t been able to publish his theory in a reputable journal. “In what seems to be a desperate effort to stay relevant, Montagnier is promoting wild theories with a little scientific basis, and now he is taking advantage of vulnerable parents (see his appeal here) to push a therapy of long-term antibiotic treatment for autistic children.”
Last year, Montagnier made his way to news headlines by propagating that the coronavirus was engineered in a Chinese laboratory. Montagnier told on France’s CNews that COVID-19 was “not natural” and suggested that this disease actually resulted from work done by molecular biologists who were attempting to create an AIDS vaccine. This was also reported by Japan Times.
American fact-checking organisation Snopes pointed out that Montagnier’s comments were widely disputed by scientists. The report includes a statement by virologist Etienne Simon-Lorière from the Pasteur Institute in Paris – “That does not make sense. These are very small elements that are found in other viruses of the same family, other coronaviruses in nature… These are pieces of the genome that actually look like lots of sequences in the genetic material of bacteria, viruses and plants. If we take a word from a book and that word resembles that of another book, can we say that one has copied from the other?… It’s absurd.”