Fact Check: Reiner Fuellmich's 'Coronavirus Investigative Committee' Report Does NOT Reveal New Evidence For Debunked Claims

Fact Check

  • by: Dean Miller
Fact Check: Reiner Fuellmich's 'Coronavirus Investigative Committee' Report Does NOT Reveal New Evidence For Debunked Claims Recycles Bunk

In this video, did trial lawyer Reiner Fuellmich's "Coronavirus Investigative Committee" reveal new evidence of claims that COVID-19 is no worse than seasonal flu, can be treated with vitamins and ivermectin, is not accurately confirmed with PCR tests and that the approved vaccines are ineffective and untested? No, none of that is true: Fuellmich recycles stale conspiracy theories that have been examined and debunked by multiple doctors and scientists who have relevant expertise and by agencies with rigorous documentation. The claims he makes without evidence stand against studies that have been peer-reviewed by experts and against publicly available data. The claims lie outside the consensus understanding of the current knowledge about COVID-19 among clinicians and lab scientists who are daily working with COVID patients, data on COVID research and other real-world evidence.

The claims appear in a September 17, 2021, BitChute video (archived here) published by the FalconsCAFE account under the title "SUMMARY OF FINDINGS OF THE CORONA INVESTIGATIVE COMMITTEE. STATUS 09/15/2021 ~ DR. REINER FUELLMICH". Fuellmich opened the video saying:

I want to tell you about the results of the Berlin Corona Committee to date ... A virus previously described as harmless was suddenly declared the cause of a global pandemic in March of 2020 and the world was suppressed ...No coherent explanation was ever given for this sudden change of opinion from 'Don't worry, this is a harmless virus' to 'This is a very dangerous virus. Many people will die.'

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(Source: BitChute Screenshot Mon Sept 20, 2021)

Fuellmich's claims, tested and debunked repeatedly include:

False claim: The coronavirus is no worse than the flu

Made at the 4:30 mark and again at 12:35, the claim is refuted by the relative death tolls of COVID and of seasonal flu.

Though many more Americans are wearing masks and following social distancing guidelines than did during pre-COVID flu seasons, COVID in 2020 killed five times as many Americans as die of flu even a severe U.S. flu season, in which as many as 60,000 people have died in years past.

In a December 8, 2020, email to Lead Stories, Robert Anderson, the nation's expert on death data as chief of mortality statistics at the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics said people who claim COVID is no worse than seasonal flu ignore solid data:

The statement that no additional deaths have occurred in relation to a new disease is incorrect.

Mortality surveillance in the United States during 2020 clearly shows, thus far, more than 250,000 deaths attributed specifically to SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 and more than 300,000 excess deaths, i.e., more than we would see in a normal year.

These data are based on death certificates registered in the 50 states, New York City and the District of Columbia (see https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/covid-19.htm). Death certificate data for other countries also show large numbers of excess deaths (see https://www.euromomo.eu/graphs-and-maps).

False claim: There are treatments for COVID like vitamins C and D, zinc and "possibly ivermectin"(4:43)

Made at the 4:43 mark of the video, the claim ignores the statements of ivermectin's manufacturer, Merck, which has repeatedly said it sees no evidence the anti-parasitic is effective against SARS-CoV-2. Similarly, the Food & Drug Administration says there's no proof ivermectin works either to prevent or treat COVID-19.

Multiple independent experts have warned the public ivermectin is not proven to work and can even be dangerous.

As for vitamins, Harvard Health Publishing and others warn there is no decisive proof they can be used exclusively to treat patients with COVID-19.

False claim: PCR tests are not approved for diagnostic purposes and cannot detect infections

Fuellmich makes the above claim at the 8:00 mark of the video. At 23:55, he says PCR tests react to flu and other coronaviruses and produce false positives and he says the World Health Organization's PCR protocol produces unreliable results.

Lead Stories reviewed these claims when made in July of 2021 and was told by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that the PCR test, approved for use under emergency authorization, performed well, but that full approval was not sought after faster testing tools were developed in the course of the pandemic.

CDC spokesperson Jade Fulce wrote in an August 6, 2021, email to Lead Stories:

Although the CDC 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019 nCoV) Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel met an important unmet need when it was developed and deployed and has not demonstrated any performance issues, the demand for this test has declined with the emergence of other higher-throughput and multiplexed assays.

She said the CDC is encouraging use of commercial products. "There are many readily available commercial molecular diagnostic tests that detect the genetic material of the virus that causes COVID-19."

False claim: Vaccines are experimental gene therapy and have not been through clinical trials and are lethal to humans

Made between the 27:40 mark of the video through 30:40, Fuellmich's claims match the general disinformation campaign against the COVID vaccines the FDA has encouraged Americans to use to ward off COVID-19.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use mRNA technology to spur the body to produce spike proteins and then antibodies that will attack the spike structure found on SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID disease. Dr. James Lawler, a board-certified infectious disease expert told Lead Stories in March, 2021, that the vaccines' mRNA does not cross from the cell to the nucleus where changes to a patient's DNA could be wrought. For this reason, the vaccines are not considered gene therapy, a simple distinction contained in FDA and CDC documentation.

The FDA and independent peer-reviewed journals of medical science have documented multiple clinical and lab studies showing the effectiveness of the vaccines, Lead Stories found, most of them published in the New England Journal of Medicine, one of the leading such journals in the world.

Fuellmich provides no basis for his claims that vaccinated persons will die when they encounter viruses similar to SARS-CoV2, but vaccine experts have scoffed at similar claims.

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Lead Stories is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers who are fighting misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the alliance here.

  Dean Miller

Lead Stories Managing Editor Dean Miller has edited daily and weekly newspapers, worked as a reporter for more than a decade and is co-author of two non-fiction books. After a Harvard Nieman Fellowship, he served as Director of Stony Brook University's Center for News Literacy for six years, then as Senior Vice President/Content at Connecticut Public Broadcasting. Most recently, he wrote the twice-weekly "Save the Free Press" column for The Seattle Times. 

Read more about or contact Dean Miller

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