Former President Bill Clinton.

Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC-BY-SA)

Conspiracy theories flourish after Bill Clinton hospitalized

Take a look at this week's 'One Dumb Conspiracy' newsletter.

 

Mikael Thalen

Tech

Published Oct 18, 2021   Updated Oct 18, 2021, 12:36 pm CDT

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Welcome to the Monday edition of Internet Insider, where we unspool threads of online misinformation—one dumb conspiracy at a time…


Former President Bill Clinton.

ONE DUMB CONSPIRACY

Conspiracy theories flourish after Bill Clinton hospitalized

Conspiracy theories quickly spread online in recent days after it was revealed that former President Bill Clinton had been hospitalized.

A spokesperson for the 75-year-old said on Thursday that the former president had been admitted to the University of California, Irvine Medical Center for a non-COVID-related infection. He was released over the weekend.

Clinton reportedly responded well to IV antibiotics and fluids, according to the spokesperson, and was said to be “on the mend.”

Two physicians for Clinton added in a joint statement to CNN that the former president’s white blood cell count had begun dropping after two days of treatment, a sign that the treatment was working as intended.

The doctors also confirmed that Clinton had been suffering from a urinary tract infection that had spread to his bloodstream.

Yet despite the positive prognosis from doctors, conspiracy theorists began churning out sensational claims about the health of Clinton.

It shouldn’t be shocking that Clinton’s health has sparked numerous conspiracies. The Clintons are often at the center of various conspiracy theories

Users on Twitter alleged that Clinton was actually on his deathbed, proven by the fact that he had been placed in an intensive care unit (ICU). Clinton’s wife Hillary Clinton was also accused of somehow being involved.

“Bill Clinton is in ICU. Killary is done with him,” one user said. “Dead by morning?”

Doctors stated, however, that Clinton had been placed in the ICU for privacy and safety reasons, not because his condition warranted intensive care.

The column continues below. 


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A screenshot from Telegram.

Others suggested that Clinton had actually died months ago, repeating a popular claim among followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory that former President Donald Trump’s enemies had all been executed at Guantanamo Bay.

Over on the app Telegram, the popular user StormyPatriotJoe, who boasts over 90,000 followers, began highlighting a 2019 post from “Q” that alleged the Clinton’s health would begin deteriorating.

“Bill and Hillary’s ‘public’ health will begin to rapidly deteriorate. Q,” the Q drop reads.

Conspiracy theories were especially prolific over in the comment sections at right-wing blog the Gateway Pundit, arguably one of the biggest promoters of debunked and false claims on the entire internet.

Countless commenters obsessively said that Clinton had actually been suffering from the sexually transmitted disease syphilis despite no evidence to back such a claim.

“Sounds like Syphilis to me!” a top-rated comment said.

Regardless of all the claims online, conspiracy theorists were sure of one thing: Clinton was not suffering from COVID given that “the elites” had all declined the vaccine, which they believe actually causes COVID.

In reality, Clinton received his vaccine on camera last year alongside fellow former presidents Jimmy Carter, George Bush, and Barack Obama. 

—By Mikael Thalen, staff writer

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*First Published: Oct 18, 2021, 12:21 pm CDT