Amazon is selling a number of error-strewn books that claim to offer guidance and information on the Omicron COVID variant, including one purportedly written by a “Dr. Fauci.”
Several books that are currently available from the online retailer appear to have been hastily published soon after the World Health Organization classified Omicron as a variant of concern on November 26.
One such book, which is only 17 pages long and entitled Omicron and the other Covid-19 Variants : All you need to Know about Covid-19 Vaccines & Variants, was published on the same day the WHO gave Omicron its VoC designation. Its author is named as a “Dr. Angelique Fauci.”
This appears to be a portmanteau of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House chief medical adviser, and Dr. Angelique Coetzee, one of the South African medics who raised the alarm about the variant last month.
Another book, entitled Omicron Variant Guidebook: All You Need to Know About the New Covid-19 Omicron Variant, Other Variants & Its Effects, was published on November 29.
This self-published book claims to offer “all you need to know about the new threatening Covid variant,” even though scientists and health care authorities are as yet unsure whether Omicron is more transmissible or causes more severe disease than other COVID variants such as Delta.
Another Omicron book being sold by Amazon has already come under scrutiny by fact-checking websites over false suggestions that it was written and copyrighted in 2020.
According to PolitiFact, an image of the book—which has the snappy title UNDERSTANDING OMICRON VARIANT: All You Need To Know About Omicron Variant, Where It Comes From, Answers To Questions You Have, And Lots More Update To Keep You Well Informed—went viral on social media over claims that its copyright had been filed in 2020, long before Omicron had been identified.
On Amazon, the book is listed with the publication date of December 5, 2021. PolitiFact states that it found no record of the book appearing in 2020.
Another fact-checking site, Logically.ai, ruled that the information in the book is “entirely fabricated, including the copyright date.”
The site also pointed out that the book contains a number of errors and nonsensical paragraphs. In one section, the book reads: “The virus that result to the emergence of SARS is SARS-COV 2. The virus that while the virus that result to the emergence of VOC is SARS-CoV 2.”
Another sentence reads: “There have been Several studies are in ongoing […] Additional moree (sic) and more findings will be shared with member countries.”
All the books appear to have been self-published on Amazon. The retailer states that it takes less than five minutes to publish your work on the site and have it available on Kindle devices within 24-48 hours.
Newsweek has contacted Amazon for comment.