The omicron strain was not “announced” several months ago

Illustration (Fusion Medical Animation -

Original article (in Croatian) was published on 03/12/2021

A photo is circulating on social media suggesting that the World Health Organization, the World Economic Forum, Johns Hopkins University and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have announced the emergence of omicron. 

The inaccurate claim that a new strain of SARS-CoV-2 virus, called omicron, was actually “planned” much earlier has spread on social networks worldwide. This is suggested by a post (archived here) circulating on Facebook, and was shared on a private user’s profile.

“Everything is known”, the user wrote in a description of the post, which can be seen in this screenshot:

The published table shows the logos of John Hopkins University, the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO), and the table itself consists of the Greek alphabet and the month of the year written in Spanish.

Old disinformation

Although its spread was further encouraged by the advent of omicron, according to Reuters, this table has been circulating on the Internet since July 2021. The full version of the table, which also features the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation logo, can be seen on Twitter, in a post from July 7 (i.e., before the advent of the omicron strain).

According to Reuters, none of these organizations issued the document.

“This is a fake document and has nothing to do with the World Economic Forum”, Peter Vanham, the organisation’s communications manager, told Reuters.

In addition to WEF’s spokesperson, this was also confirmed by WHO and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation spokespersons.

Reuters states that new variants of the virus cannot be “scheduled” and that the virus has its own evolutionary path that can be unpredictable. Viruses mutate over time, and SARS-CoV-2 is no exception.

According to a table spreading on Facebook, the delta variant would appear in June 2021. However, this is incorrect because this strain was identified in India last December, and an earlier version was spotted back in October 2020.

Fact-checker of the Belgian Knack, Brecht Castel, posted a presentation on YouTube that shows how easy it is to create this document using only Microsoft Excel. He also created a map showing countries where fact-checkers have already noted the spread of this table among social media users.

An article of the World Economic Forum

In addition to this announcement, a screenshot of an article from the World Economic Forum page is circulating on Facebook these days, which is also declared “proof” that a pandemic is planned. Namely, the date of publication of the article is stated to be July 12, and it underlines the mention of the B.1.1.529 variant, that is, the omicron strain of the virus.

This, however, is no proof that the strain was known four months ago. It is an updated text that, in its original version (archived here), published in July, did not contain information about the omicron strain, which in turn was discovered on November 9 (Reuters).

The newly discovered strain was classified as a concern by the WHO on November 26, according to the advice of the WHO Technical Advisory Group on virus evolution. The decision is based on the knowledge that the omicron strain has several mutations that can affect the spread of the virus (WHO).

It is not yet known whether omicron is more dangerous than the delta strain of the new coronavirus. More detailed data on the infectivity of omicron and the severity of the symptoms it causes, as well as the effectiveness of existing Covid vaccines and naturally acquired immunity against omicron, should be known in the coming weeks.
With the advent of the new strain, new disinformation has emerged that is on the trail of the previous ones which we have already uncovered as inaccurate. Faktograf has written countless times about how the pandemic, although expected, was not planned and staged, as conspiracy theorists claim. Such theories often follow those of the “new world order” and the “great reset,” in which frequent protagonists are Microsoft’s founder Bill Gates, the World Economic Forum, the UN, etc. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)