By: Matthew Ross
May 11 2023
Not all viruses make us sick, but harmful viruses like COVID-19 can be transmitted between humans through bodily fluids.
U.K. MP Andrew Bridgen, who switched political parties from the Conservatives to Reclaim in May 2023, appeared on The Charlie Ward Show on February 5, 2023, to discuss COVID-19-related conspiracy theories. Bridgen was previously suspended from Parliament for espousing misinformation related to COVID-19 and mRNA vaccines, while Ward is an online influencer with a history of promoting the American-born QAnon conspiracy theory, among other debunked claims, to a British audience. The episode was uploaded to Ward's Facebook page on May 8, 2023, where it subsequently received over 1,000 likes, 200 comments, and has been viewed around 18,000 times.
Ward claims, 21 minutes into the discussion, that viruses cannot be transmitted between human beings. He states that millions of viruses live in the human body, implying they cannot hurt us, a point with which Bridgen disagrees, but allows Ward to continue. Ward falsely states that Bill Gates created the computer virus and the antivirus software response so that people "psychologically believe that viruses can be transmitted to people because of the computers." He claims that humans cannot transmit viruses to each other, but they can pass on germs. This claim is wholly inaccurate.
Humans can transmit viruses to other humans, which frequently occurs through bodily fluids such as airborne droplets expelled by sneezing or coughing. While Ward is partially correct when he says that millions (actually trillions) of viruses are present in the human body, called the virome, he equates all viruses to pathogenic viruses, such as influenza, HIV, Ebola, SARS, and COVID-19. While there is much humans do not know about viruses, it is understood that viruses in the human virome can be harmless or beneficial. For example, bacteriophages attack harmful bacteria in the body, thus helping to keep our biomes in balance. It is inaccurate to conflate all the viruses of the human virome with pathogenic viruses that can harm humans.
Ward's reference to Bill Gates plays into common conspiratorial narratives, particularly where vaccines and health are concerned. Logically Facts has previously debunked various such claims in multiple fact checks, which can be found in our library.
Ward and Bridgen repeat many other falsehoods in the video, including the idea that mRNA vaccines are a form of gene therapy; that Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla was proven to have lied to the British public about vaccine safety, despite the ruling being overturned; that the risks of mRNA vaccines are the same or outweigh the risks of COVID-19; and that they are “completely untested,” yet all mRNA vaccines underwent Phase 3 trials.
Logically Facts has reached out to a virologist for comment.
In an attempt to deny the severity of COVID-19, Charlie Ward falsely claims that humans cannot transmit viruses to other humans, equating harmless microbiome viruses with pathogenic viruses that make us sick. Humans frequently spread viruses, such as the common cold, through bodily fluids. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.