Judy Mikovits co-wrote a 2009 research paper that linked the mysterious condition known as chronic fatigue syndrome to a retrovirus that came from mice.
…Less than two years later, those hopes were dashed when follow-up studies failed to replicate the findings and the respected journal “Science” retracted the paper. Researchers posited that the study’s inaccurate conclusions were the result of contamination of the lab samples, and the theory that a virus might be the source of the still-mysterious condition died.
…In the years after the 2009 study was retracted, Mikovits was fired from her job leading a research institute.
…Then, her employers filed criminal and civil charges against her for allegedly stealing research materials and data when she left her job.
…She suggests that she was not accused of a crime and that the arrest was intended to intimidate her.
But the local prosecutor in Washoe County, Nev., charged her with allegedly stealing computer data and other materials from her former lab at the Whittemore Peterson Institute.
…Meanwhile, she doubled down on debunked theories linking retroviruses that originated in mice to medical conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome and autism.
…Mikovits wrote her first book with anti-vaccine advocate Kent Heckenlively in 2014, called “Plague.” Their second book, “Plague of Corruption,” was published by Skyhorse Publishing this year.
…In a film called “Plandemic,” and in a recently published book that topped the Amazon bestsellers chart this week, she makes a bizarre and false claim: that the doctors and experts shaping public policy in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic have silenced dissenting voices and misled the public for sinister reasons.
She falsely claims that wealthy people intentionally spread the virus to increase vaccination rates and that wearing face masks is harmful.
…She acknowledged her past legal troubles — including the arrest — in the film, but suggested her woes stem from an alleged conspiracy to crush her once-promising career and destroy her credibility as a scientist.
Mikovits also flung false and wild allegations at several high-profile scientists in “Plandemic,” including Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House coronavirus task force. In the weeks before the “Plandemic” trailer launched, she had been positioning herself as an expert and an anti-Fauci voice in interviews with conspiracy-hawking and far right-leaning websites like the Epoch Times and the Gateway Pundit.
University of Colorado at Denver professor Jennifer Reich, who studies the anti-vaccine movement, explained why so many people are willing to believe the unsupported claims Mikovits has made about the coronavirus pandemic.
“The claims Mikovits makes highlight uncertainties people feel right now,” Reich told The Post in an email.
People who do not have “firsthand knowledge” of a pandemic victim may question the statistics officials have been reporting on infection and death rates, Reich said.