Disinfo: Chinese questions about the virus were never answered

Summary

China has officially requested the United States to conduct a health examination of the members of the US Military Sports Mission, which participated in the Military World Games, which was held in Wuhan in October 2019. But the United States did not respond to the Chinese request.

The US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick (Maryland) is funded for the purpose of developing viruses and germs that can be used as weapons in biological wars. After it was closed in July 2019 because polluting materials leaked out of it, China has detected that residents of areas close to the institute were exposed to a severe flu wave in August 2019, which infected more than ten thousand people.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory about the 2019-nCoV coronavirus. There is no evidence to suggest that the virus is being used as a weapon against other states or that is has been fabricated inside laboratories

The expert scientific consensus holds that the coronavirus has natural origins; there is no credible evidence supporting claims of laboratory engineering.

Apart from the American soldiers, there were in fact 17 teams with over 280 athletes and staff from different countries and nations participating in the Military World Games that was held from October 18-27, 2019 in the capital of Hubei Province in Wuhan. The coronavirus started to spread 65 days after the closing ceremony of the Military World Games, and so far there is no evidence to prove any connection between the two events.

The Pentagon has had confirmed cases and is bracing for more to emerge, but “no illnesses have been tied to American service members” in the period that followed the Military World Games. 

In August 2019, a US Army laboratory at Fort Detrick, Maryland that studies germs and toxins that could be used to threaten the military or public health, and also investigates disease outbreaks as Ebola and smallpox was shut down for a period of time after a Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) inspection that occurred in June, and was partially reopened in December, and is now back up running and helping in the fight against COVID-19.  

The suspension was due to multiple causes, including failure to follow local procedures and a lack of periodic recertification training for workers in the biocontainment laboratories. The wastewater decontamination system of the lab also failed to meet standards set by the Federal Select Agent Programme. Caree Vander Linden, a spokeswoman, ensured that “there has been no threat to public health, no injuries to employees" and "the leaks were within the lab and not to the outside world".

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 193
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 17/04/2020
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: China, US
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Conspiracy theory, Virus / bacteria threat, fake news, Biological weapons, Conspiracy

Disclaimer

Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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Coronavirus might have been brought to Wuhan from outside China

The coronavirus that caused the pandemic did not originate in Wuhan.

Five of China’s largest scientific institutes have studied the COVID-19 genome samples taken in 12 countries on 4 continents. They found that there is no “ancestor” of the virus that can be found in China. It means that the coronavirus was brought to the market in Wuhan, where it is believed the epidemic began, by an already infected person. It is likely that by that time, the infection was already developing in other regions.

Disproof

An unfounded conspiracy theory and pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The first cases of COVID-19 were reported in China, in the city of Wuhan on December 31. On that day, China alerted the WHO about several cases of pneumonia from an unknown cause. Some of those infected worked at the city's Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, which is believed to be the place where the new disease originated. Very quickly, the number of those infected rose to over 40.

Myth about Ukraine as a separate nation was created in the USSR

In the USSR, a myth was created about Ukraine as a country, in which another type of people lives – “Ukrainians”. They were separate, albeit “fraternal”, people. They supposedly consisted of boys and girls in costume, and, as such, were considered to be “folk”.

This complimentary, and not substituting identity is the only thing that can help the future of Ukraine and its people. Not concept of “Ukrainian, not Russian”, but that of “Little Russian and Russian”. This will return to Ukraine the meaning of existence as a truly Little Russia, as an integral part of the Russian world.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin propaganda narrative questioning the Ukrainian statehood.

Ukraine is a well-defined nation-state that has preserved language, literature and identity despite foreign rule for long periods. It is a sovereign state whose borders are guaranteed by international agreements but were violated by Russia, which started a war in Ukraine.

Bill Gates wants to implant microchips in people’s heads

Donald Trump’s former adviser, Roger Stone, suggested that Bill Gates might have had a hand in creating the Coronavirus and spreading the pandemic around the world, so Gates could implant microchips in people’s heads to distinguish between those who are tested for COVID-19 and enforce mandatory vaccinations.

Disproof

This is a recurring conspiracy theory on the coronavirus mainly popularised by anti-vaxxers who continue to find support in pro-Kremlin outlets.

Roger Stone Jr., is a former associate to the current American President. He was recently sentenced to 40 months in prison for felonies related to Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign.

Bill Gates, the Microsoft co-founder turned philanthropist, who is now the star of an explosion of conspiracy theories, has mentioned health certificates in a discussion but this has nothing to do with alleged ID2020 microchips. Later, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation told Reuters, “The reference to ‘digital certificates’ relates to efforts to create an open-source digital platform with the goal of expanding access to safe, home-based testing".

Digital certificates are used to send encrypted information over the internet, as in the common case of electronic signatures which are used to verify identity. They were officially defined by what is now called the Telecommunication Standardisation Sector in 1988 and have always been virtual, not physical.

The claim that Gates has a link with the ”creation” of coronavirus is based on the fact that the “Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation” finance some research projects of Pirbright Institute, a centre of excellence in research and surveillance of virus diseases of farm animals and viruses that spread from animals to humans, based in the UK. On 24 January 2020, the Pirbright institute posted a press release explaining that the organisation has no link with the new COVID.