Alex Jones, the Infowars host and conspiracy theorist, speaks to protesters demonstrating against the state's extended stay-at-home order to help slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the Capitol building in Austin, Texas, U.S. April 18, 2020. REUTERS/Nuri Vallbona - RC2A7G9CN5N5

Covering Coronavirus: United States of Conspiracy

May 28, 2020

Credit to Nuri Vallbona/REUTERS

As COVID-19 has spread, so, too, have misinformation and conspiracy theories about the virus — amplified by figures like Alex Jones, and proliferating on social media and even at the highest levels of government. Veteran FRONTLINE filmmaker Michael Kirk, who was already making a documentary about the rise of conspiracy theories in American politics when the pandemic hit, shares what he’s learned about how such theories have become central to understanding the nation’s response to the coronavirus outbreak. “There’s been a concerted effort, now that everything is moved from the fringe to the center, to knock down knowledge-based information,” Michael says. “And all of a sudden, a large number of Americans simply do not believe what they’re being told. And that’s where we find ourselves now.”

The FRONTLINE Dispatch is made possible by the Abrams Foundation Journalism Initiative.