COVID‐19 frauds: An exploratory study of victimization during a global crisis – Kennedy – – Criminology & Public Policy

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In late January of2020 both the U.S. government and the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 to be a public health emergency, and in March of 2020 the World Health Organization officially announced that COVID-19 was a global pandemic (World Health Organization, 2020). One year later in the United States alone there were over 30 million confirmed cases, and nearly 550,000 deaths. The more than half a million victims of COVID-19 represent an ever-present reminder of the catastrophic harm posed by the virus. However, parts of the U.S. government’s response to these harms have been described as “about as organized as a ferret dance party” (Lee, 2021), a situation that was not helped by official government sources touting conspiracy theories about the benefits of unproven chemical treatments (Radcliffe, 2020). The fact that much of the misinformation being spread originated with, or was supported by, then President…

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