Disinfo: 380 Belgians caught COVID-19 through a massive act of group sex

Summary

The Health Minister of Belgium has declared that she will forbid group sex activities, including more than three persons. The reason behind the decision is the highly contagious coronavirus. The minister had to act resolutely, as Belgium had a reputation of “the binge drinking and group sex capital of Europe”. The minister decided to forbid sexual acts, including three or more, as last week 500 people were taking part in a coronavirus party that turned into a mass orgy, and 380 of the participants caught the deadly infection.

Disproof

This is a satire which was misrepresented as factual information. The Belgium minister said no such thing. The parody text first appeared in the World News Daily Report and was extensively debunked by the international media. It was relayed by a Russian humor account, and then uncritically reprinted by Nationalist Zavtra. See a previous instance when the pro-Kremlin media has presented satire as facts. See more examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation about the coronavirus.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 190
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 29/03/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Russian, Georgian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Belgium
  • Keywords: coronavirus
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US sends humanitarian aid to terrorists in Syria

The United States is planning to send aid to extremists in Syria under the umbrella of humanitarian assistance while the coronavirus crisis is spreading. The extremists are hiding among refugees in the Rukban camp, located in an area close to the US-run al-Tanf military base near the Jordanian and Iraqi borders despite Washington’s commitment to withdraw from Syria. US forces are still present in various parts of the country without permission by the United Nations or Damascus.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narrative claiming that the US is supporting or working together with terrorists in the Middle East. The situation in the Rukban refugee camp has been deteriorating steadily over the last 5 years. The rapid deterioration in the lives of refugees is well documented. It has been at the centre of a geopolitical gridlock since Russia decided to intervene in Syria to assist the regime of Bashar al-Assad. The regime has placed the camp under siege as it considers it a safe haven for rebels and thousands of refugees have fled over the last few months.

One cause of Coronavirus: Gay marriage

One of the most egregious things that caused the spread of this [coronavirus] epidemic is the legalisation [of gay marriage].

Disproof

Conspiracy theory about the 2019-nCoV coronavirus mixed in with another popular pro-Kremlin disinformation theme of the moral degradation of the West.

See more examples of pro-Kremlin disinformatiomn about the coronavirus, including claims that Bill Gates and George Soros are sponsoring it, that it is a UK, US or NATO creation and that the Americans have its cure, that it is an artificial disease which specifically targets Chinese DNA, that it was created with economic goals while big pharma companies are spreading panic for their own profit, that it is a biological weapon against Russia and China, that it will wipe out Ukraine’s population in a few days or that it was predicted by Nostradamus and others.

US sanctions contribute to coronavirus pandemic

US sanctions against Russia and Iran contribute to the spread of coronavirus and create a humanitarian catastrophe. Coronavirus deaths are on the US’ conscience.

Disproof

Another pro-Kremlin narrative, which is not supported by facts. In a statement issued on March 23, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that such "fabrications" put Iranians and people around the world at greater risk. He also reiterated that US sanctions did not target imports of food, medicine, or other humanitarian goods. The United States imposed sanctions on Russian persons (individuals, entities, and vessels) in response to Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea, its invasion of eastern Ukraine, election meddling, malicious cyber-enabled activities, human rights abuses, use of a chemical weapon, weapons proliferation, illicit trade with North Korea and support to Syria and Venezuela. In the past six years, the United States has imposed more than 70 rounds of sanctions on Russian individuals and companies, but these sanctions, as well as sanctions on Iran, have nothing to do with the spread of coronavirus.