Does a book titled "Understanding Omicron Variant" by an author named Dr. Theresa Bishop have a 2020 copyright date, meaning it was published before the omicron variant was publicly identified? No, that's not true: This Amazon book was self-published on December 15, 2021, nearly a month after the omicron variant was officially identified in November 2021. No information is available to confirm the author's credentials, and the book contains many grammatical errors.
The claim appeared in a Facebook post (archived here) on December 19, 2021. Above the screenshot of a book cover and pages withe circled copyright information, the caption is:
Please Facebook --slap a Fact check on this so we can all feel better that this was not written in 2020.
The text within the screenshot reads:
UNDERSTANDING OMICRON VARIANT:
All You Need To Know About Omicron Variant, Where It Comes From, Answers To Questions You Have, And Lots More Update To Keep You Well Informed
Dr. Theresa Bishop
Copyrights ©2020 Dr. Theresa Bishop
All Rights Reserved
This is what the post looked like on Facebook on December 20, 2021:
(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Tue Dec 21 01:43:01 2021 UTC)
A Google search using keywords "UNDERSTANDING OMICRON VARIANT: All You Need To Know About Omicron Variant, Where It Comes From, Answers To Questions You Have, And Lots More Update To Keep You Well Informed" produced an Amazon publication by a "Dr. Theresa Bishop." The book cover image matches the screenshot of the book cover seen in this post.
When clicking on the author's name, "Dr Theresa Bishop" below the book's title and publication date of December 5, 2021, three publications appear. One has the exact title of the previously searched publication except for a black and gray cover.
The "look inside" feature reveals typos and grammatical errors not expected in a professional science publication.
The book's page includes this about the author: "My name is Dr. Theresa Bishop, and I conducted many studies on the covid19 virus at its early stage last year. Having handled a lot of patients during the outbreak of the covid19 various, I have come to understand a lot about the virus, and now this omicron variant is research in progress."
No other identifying information about the author is given. A Google search using the keywords "Dr. Theresa Bishop Lung and Respiratory Disease" produced no results.
The Amazon publication date displayed underneath the product details is December 15, 2021. The "edition notice" is under the control of the self-publisher, which means virtually any date could have been placed there.
The first finding of the omicron variant was reported by South Africa on November 24, 2021. The World Health Organization (WHO) designated omicron as a variant of concern by November 26, 2021.
Lead Stories reached out to Amazon concerning the credibility of this publication and the criteria for account owners to self-publish works. We will update this story if a response is received.