CNA asked Strickland to clarify those aspects of the letter, but the bishop has not yet responded.
The Vatican has offered no comment on the letter, which was reportedly authored by Archbishop Carlo Vigano, a former member of the Church's diplomatic corps, who made headlines in 2018 for a letter that alleged Vatican officials had ignored warnings about the sexual abuse of disgraced former cardinal Theodore McCarrick.
A Vatican official, Cardinal Robert Sarah, was initially reported to be a signatory to the letter, but the cardinal has distanced himself from the letter, and his name was removed amid a row with Vigano.
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, the metropolitan archbishop charged with pastoral oversight over dioceses in his region, including the Diocese of Tyler, has not answered questions from CNA regarding Strickland's endorsement of the letter's claims.
A spokesperson in the Galveston-Houston archdiocese did ask CNA whether it had reached out to the U.S. bishops' conference for comment.
The USCCB told CNA that "as a matter of general practice, the Conference doesn't comment on our members acting in their capacity as local bishop."
The letter comes amid increasing social division over measures implemented to slow the spread of the disease, along with numerous conspiracy theories floated about the pandemic in recent weeks.
In addition to the theories about one-world technocracies, like those contained in "Plandemic," claims about the virus and religion have also popped up in several countries in recent weeks.
In India and the U.K., Muslims have faced targeting from theorists who claim the virus is a jihadist conspiracy. On social media message boards, anti-Semitic posters have theorized about Jewish conspiracies to spread the virus.
To date, more than 4 million people have tested positive for an infection of the novel coronavirus since early January, and nearly 300,000 have been recorded dead from the virus. In some countries, death rates in the months of the coronavirus pandemic have far exceeded death rates over the same months in previous years, suggesting to some demographers and epidemiologists that coronavirus deaths have been dramatically undercounted.
J.D.Flynn served as Catholic News Agency's editor-in-chief from August 2017 to December 2020.