Posts claim that Dr. Anthony Fauci created COVID-19 virus in Montana lab

Last week, several viral social media posts claimed that Dr. Anthony Fauci created the virus that causes COVID-19 in his Montana lab and released the virus in order to sway election results. 

Recommendation: It’s unlikely for this specific conspiracy theory to come up in patient conversations, but patient messaging may emphasize that the origins of COVID-19 have not been confirmed. Although the precise origins of SARS-CoV-2 remain unknown, thorough scientific analysis has largely ruled out the possibility that the virus was artificially generated in a lab. There is no evidence to support the false claim that Dr. Fauci created or brought COVID-19 to Montana. The claim appears to be based on a 2016 study conducted on a different coronavirus at the NIH-funded Rocky Mountain Laboratories. This research was unrelated to COVID-19. The CDC recommends the updated COVID-19 vaccine for everyone 6 months and older. Staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccines prevents severe illness, hospitalization, death, and long COVID.