Fact Check: This Video Does Not Prove Its Claim That 'Molnupiravir' COVID Pill Causes Human Mutations and Cancer

Fact Check

  • by: Dean Miller
Fact Check: This Video Does Not Prove Its Claim That 'Molnupiravir' COVID Pill Causes Human Mutations and Cancer Not Poison

Did this video prove its claim that the proposed oral COVID drug called molnupiravir is poisonous and causes cancer and mutations? No, that's not true: There's no credible and peer-reviewed lab or clinical data supplied, and the publicly-available evidence does not support the claims.

The claims originated in an October 10, 2021, video (archived here) posted to BitChute by the Stew Peters Show titled "*MOLNUPIRAVIR* IS LETHAL - DNA MUTATIONS AND CANCERS - FDA WILL EUA THIS POISON FOR SURE" which opened:

Merck, the original manufacturer of Ivermectin, is rolling out a pill "vaccine" to combat resistance. Turns out, that's not so great. NOTHING LIKE IVERMECTION

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:


Merck, the original manufacturer of Ivermectin, is rolling out a pill "vaccine" to combat resistance. Turns out, that's not so great. NOTHING LIKE IVERMECTION

The video features host Stew Peters, a bounty hunter-turned-radio-host, and Jane Ruby, who identifies herself as "Dr. Jane Ruby," though she is not a board-certified medical doctor and there is no record of her holding a Ph.D.

Ruby makes multiple false or unsupported claims during the eight-minute video.

Illogical/Ad Hominem: Emory University working with Defense Threat Reduction agency means the drug is dangerous

"...this drug, I feel, is very dangerous and I'll tell you why," Ruby says just after the 0:36 mark in the video. "First of all, it was developed at Emory University by a company within the university -- sounds a little shady -- called Drug Innovation Ventures, but they all leave out conveniently a middleman, and the middleman was, guess who -- the Department of Defense, through a sub agency called the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, So I don't know what happened in between there, but then it got to Merck.

Drug Innovation Ventures (DRIVE) is a not-for-profit wholly owned by Emory University, set up to take advantage of Emory's community of scientists, but structured as a biotechnology company focused on viruses of global concern. The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) is assigned to develop ways to detect, deter and counter weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons and bio weapons. In 2019, it was assigned to identify existing drugs and new drugs that could be used to prevent and treat COVID-19.

Ruby provides no reason that the collaboration of Emory, DRIVE and DTRA means the drug is dangerous.

False Claim: Molnupiravir manipulates the human genome in an uncontrolled way

Ruby at 1:10 says:

Here's the bottom line with molnupiravir. It is a genetic manipulation, Stew. There is no control over, over how your body will interpret and use this this genetic code.

Ruby has misstated the mechanism by which the proposed drug fights SARS-CoV-2 infection. It does not target the human genome.

A July 2021 paper in the professionally edited and peer-reviewed Journal of Biological Chemistry describes the drug as a broad-spectrum antiviral that interferes with the process by which viruses cause illness as they tuck into the host body and replicate themselves, causing illness. The drug causes mutations in the viral material, not in the host human's genome.

Interpreting that study, Derek Lowe, a drug development expert with a Ph.D. in organic chemistry noted that it is unlikely molnupiravir could make harmful alterations in the human genome. Writing in the October 13, 2021, edition of his "In The Pipeline" blog for the American Academic for the Advancement of Science, Lowe reminded readers that sunshine and even natural foods like kale can cause mutations. But the human body "proofreads" its code to weed out most damaging mutations. Lowe wrote of the tests for harmful mutation:

Molnupiravir has been through both of these and other animal tests, at longer and higher doses than are used in the clinic, and (fortunately) has shown no signs of mutagenic effects compared to the control animals. This is the only way that you could go into human trials in the first place with a compound like this.

False claim: Virus DNA cannot be weaponized against viruses because they have no DNA

At 1:40, Ruby, in describing molnupiravir's mechanism of action, says "most people, even lay people, know that viruses don't have their own genetic code, their own DNA."

That flies in the face of 90 years of peer-reviewed professional virology, which has established that the way viruses spread is by replicating their own genetic material.

As one of the standard microbiology textbooks, written by MIT biology and biomedical engineering professor Harvey Lodish, puts it:

A virus is a small parasite that cannot reproduce by itself. Once it infects a susceptible cell, however, a virus can direct the cell machinery to produce more viruses. Most viruses have either RNA or DNA as their genetic material.

False claim: A whistleblower virologist warned officials molnupiravir is a carcinogen.

At 4:08, Ruby calls the drug carcinogenic, citing the whistleblower complaint of Rick Bright, former director of a Department of Health and Human Services lab that funds the hunt for countermeasures against biowarfare and pandemics.

In May of 2020, there was a scientist named Rick Wright, who was became a whistleblower, and he claims he was ignored by the Trump administration when he tried to tell them you can't fast track this molnupiravir, because it has a direct cancer effect. He was then fired after that.

But, Bright's whistleblower complaint isn't about carcinogens, it is about misuse of Operation Warp Speed funds, which he said were being steered to political cronies of federal officials.

Lead Stories has debunked previous false claims made by Ruby here, here, and here, in which she claims COVID vaccines contain graphene oxide, were developed illegally and that the vaccine is killing airline pilots.

Twitter suspended Jane Ruby's Twitter account September 28, 2021, for violations of Twitter rules.

Ruby Suspended.JPG

(Source: Twitter screenshot taken Tue Oct 19 at 21:20:24 2021 UTC)

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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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