Disinfo: China's successful handling of the coronavirus stems from its understanding of human rights, unlike the US and Europe

Summary

Despite the coronavirus outbreak beginning in China, Beijing has brought it rapidly under control – the number of domestically transmitted cases was reduced to virtually zero by the end of March. In the US and Western Europe, on the contrary, the number of cases is rising vertiginously with no peak in sight. This disastrous US and Western European failure will be more severe than the international financial crisis and will have profound geopolitical consequences. The most fundamental issue was that China started from a real understanding of human rights as they affect the real lives of people – not the artificial constructs of Western, purely formal ‘human rights.’ In a lethal epidemic, the key human right is to stay alive. But what was the response of the so called ‘human rights’ organizations in the West to this? Total and criminal condemnation of China’s successful strategy!

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative that has emerged during the coronavirus crisis: that democracies and open societies are collapsing and unable to effectively manage the pandemic, while closed, "traditionalist" societies have coped much better. This message builds on the longstanding pro-Kremlin theme of the West's alleged moral decay. See similar cases that liberalism has facilitated the spread of the coronavirus, and that the coronavirus "war" is finally forcing Western ultraliberals to finally care for vulnerable people. Authoritarian regimes, which tend to control and manipulate information and to limit the freedom of doctors and scientists to engage in international cooperation, are often an obstacle to the timely detection and containment of epidemic outbreaks. This is exemplified by China’s deliberate cover-up of the early days of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan. The regime suppressed information about the virus and allowed it to spread unchecked in the crucial early days and weeks. The Chinese government censored and detained those doctors and whistleblowers who attempted to sound the alarm and warn their fellow citizens about the coronavirus threat. Due to this track record, concerns persist that the Chinese government is continuing to downplay statistics in order to claim victory against the disease and present itself as a public health superpower. Chinese news media and local residents have also raised questions about the COVID-19 death toll in Wuhan, while both the British government and US intelligence have cautioned that China has vastly underreported its coronavirus infections. In a notable rebuke of China's human rights record, the keynote essay for HRW's 2020 World Report - written by executive director Kenneth Roth - states that "China’s government sees human rights as an existential threat" and poses a serious danger to international human rights. Amnesty International also takes a grim view of China's human rights situation, noting "huge setbacks". See additional disinformation cases on the coronavirus here and on the West's moral collapse here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 191
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 30/03/2020
  • Outlet language(s) English
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: EU, China, US
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Western values, West, Human rights, European values, Europe
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Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the disintegration of the European Union. The European Union is supporting the Member States in addressing the crisis, and mitigating the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. To cushion the blow to people’s livelihoods and the economy, the European Commission has adopted a comprehensive economic response to the outbreak, applied the full flexibility of the EU fiscal rules, has revised its State Aid rules and proposed to set up a EUR 37 billion Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative to provide liquidity to small businesses and the health care sector. To support scientific research into the COVID-19, the European Commission earmarked 47,5 million EUR for shortlisted research projects that can improve epidemiology and public health, including preparedness and response to outbreaks. The EU has also created first ever stockpile of medical equipment. Read more about the EU's response here and here.

The coronavirus disinformation campaign is the beginning of the heist of the century

The current disinformation campaign accompanying the coronavirus pandemic is the beginning of the “heist of the century”. As a result of this con, assets and savings of many nations, companies and individuals will end up in the hands of the current oligarchy, more specifically hundreds of the richest and most powerful families. The substantial portion of global wealth they already own will only increase as the rich always want more.

Disproof

An unfounded conspiracy theory, sharing a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about "secret elites" controlling world leaders. The novel coronavirus, which cases the COVID-19 disease, belongs to a family of viruses originating in animals that include others such as SARS and MERS. It was first reported in the city of Wuhan in central China in late 2019 and has been rapidly spreading across the world, with cases being reported in 190 countries, territories and areas. The number of COVID-19 cases has surpassed 777,000 globally with over 37,000 deaths as of 31 March 2020. See more examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation about the coronavirus here.

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

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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.