The working group says it is funded by donors. According to Engel, there are a few thousand who donate between 5 and 100 euros.
The Facebook page has 15,000 likes and over 55,000 followers. Engel describes himself as a curator, “generally but specific to the scientific community”. According to him, the Facebook group includes about ten different research groups on topics such as immunology and ventilation.
“We’re now a kind of news channel,” says the foreman. There are editors and translators who run live broadcasts for social media. “Our team is mainly made up of the Dutch. But we work closely with similar groups in the United States, Germany, Belgium and France.”
Supporters of the group cannot be categorized, except that they are all vocal opponents of the Dutch Corona policy. Young, old, single families: You’ve seen it all at the demonstrations organized by Virus Truth.
“Love, patience, truth and unity are our core concepts,” says the Rotterdam foreman. But last fall, the group made the news differently.
After Engle shared on Facebook the phone number of a nursing home that had been closed due to the coronavirus outbreak against the wishes of the activist group, employees were threatened by phone. A staff member was told “I wish you a slow, painful, and lonely death.”
Engel replies, “It is not at all true that I advocated the verbal abuse.” He says he assured his followers that callers should remain polite. “Because it is not the operator but the manager who is responsible. And the perpetrators could have done that on purpose Framing.“
Regardless of who was responsible for the death threats, opposition to Corona’s measures has grown more bleak over the past six months. In a report, the National Coordinator for Combating Terrorism and Security warned of the “extremist movement” within the activists’ movement.
Fact Checker Pepijn van Erp He wrote an analysis last year About some of Engel’s claims. Van Erp is a member of the board of directors of the Skepsis Foundation, which investigates strong claims. “When I started following it, I saw more and more in the truth virus manifestations that conspiracy theories were prevalent. For example, that there is a deliberate strategy of Western powers in Europe to establish a kind of control society as is the case in China.”
But whatever the motivation behind Virus Truth: Thanks to Engel et al, Friday the court ruling on the curfew imposed by the Cabinet will become clear.