Disinfo: Coronavirus: A North American epidemic

Summary

There are strange “separate” incidents that targeted China from North America; the most prominent was the arrival of a shipment issued by Canadian biological laboratories in March 2019, which includes “malicious viruses.” It is noteworthy that this shipment was carried out under a veil of secrecy other than the usual procedures, which prompted the Chinese side to file a formal complaint.

A large US military delegation, consisting of 300 people, arrived in Wuhan, in Hubei Province, China on October 19, 2019, to participate in a military games festival hosted by China and held there. On November 2, 2019, the first infection with the coronavirus was recorded in that province, and it spread rapidly throughout December. Scientifically, the incubation period for corona infection is 14 days.

Disproof

A number of conspiracy theories that are only linked by the fact that they are "separate" incidents, and echos some recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation especially about China coronavirus. The narratives also resemble a recurring conspiracy theory about the Lugar Lab in Georgia.

The claims about Canadian involvement in the coronavirus spread appear to be based on a mischaracterization of August 2019 reports about a transfer of Ebola and Nipah viruses from a Canadian lab to Beijing, and an apparently separate issue involving two Chinese researchers at Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) in Winnipeg, in the central province of Manitoba. Read further debunking by the AFP Fact Check.

As for the US participation in the Military World Games and its connection with the coronavirus, there is no evidence to prove this claim. There were 9,308 athletes from 109 countries that have registered to participate in 2019 Military World Games held between October 18-27. While the incubation period of 2019-nCoV, also known as coronavirus, is believed to vary from as few as 2 days to as long as 14 days after the exposure, according to the CDC. This is based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS viruses.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the first reported unusual cluster of pneumonia cases in the city of Wuhan was recorded on 31 December 2019, when Chinese authorities confirmed they were investigating 27 cases of viral pneumonia, which is 65 days after the closing ceremony of the Military World Games.

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  • Reported in: Issue182
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 01/02/2020
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: Cuba, Canada, China, US
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Conspiracy theory, Biological weapons, Military, 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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Moldovan “Party of Action and Solidarity” is a political branch of the Soros Foundation in Moldova

Maia Sandu’s “Party of Action and Solidarity” is a political branch of the Soros Foundation in Moldova.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory, suggesting that pro-Western political parties are led by George Soros in the shadow.

The Soros Foundation has been working in Moldova since 1992, financing and promoting programs and activities in areas such as media, justice and human rights, good governance, and public health with the aim to support the development of an open society. Since then, dozens of Moldovan specialists have been employed by the foundation or collaborated in its programs.

Soviet troops waiting for the Warsaw Uprising to bleed out is a myth

Affirmations that the Red Army waited along the shores of the Vistula river in Warsaw in 1944 while Nazi troops crushed the insurrection of Polish rebels because Stalin wanted to destroy Polish nationalist forces are a myth, as shown by newly declassified documents from Russia’s Ministry of Defence. Actually, the Soviet troops lacked the means to launch a whole offensive to liberate the city, but they managed to supply the rebels with weapons, ammunition and food. In any case, the so-called Armia Krajowa or National Army hailed as the only true heroes by the Polish government actually became armed gangs who terrorised the Polish population after the liberation.

Disproof

This is part of a recurrent Russian narrative to portray the Red Army as liberators of Eastern Europe and not as its occupiers. The current disinformation campaign against Poland was launched in reaction to the resolution of the European Parliament in September 2019 on the importance of European remembrance for the future of Europe, expressing deep concern on the efforts of the current Russian leadership to distort historical facts and whitewash crimes committed by the Soviet totalitarian regime. This resolution was perceived by the Kremlin historians as an act of aggression.

Actually, the occupation and ‘sovietisation’ of Poland and the rest of the Eastern Bloc was achieved with terror, mass repressions, nationalisation of industry, expropriation of privately owned land, environmental disasters, destruction of the market economy and restrictions of civil and political freedoms. Writing about the Warsaw Uprising, Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki clarified that “the Red Army stared on idly at the agony of Warsaw. The city’s two uprisings, the first in the Jewish ghetto in 1943, the second in the entire city in 1944, were evidence of the ruthlessness of German crimes. But while the people of Warsaw waited hopefully for help, Joseph Stalin never ordered the Red Army to intervene.” This has also been the conclusion of professional historians for the last 75 years.

Emergence of coronavirus is not accidental and has economic goals

Due to the situation in the financial markets, the emergence of coronavirus in China is not accidental and has very specific economic goals.

Disproof

Fear over coronavirus has indeed affected China's stock markets, but assessing the virus as an artificial, man-made problem is a part of the recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on secret labs and biological weapons. Also consistent with the narrative that the spread of coronavirus is in the interest of the US to weaken China economically.

In response to the outbreak of the coronavirus, the Chinese authorities have placed more than a dozen cities under quarantine. The World Health Organisation is working with Chinese authorities and global experts to learn more about the virus. The virus "2019-nCoV” comes from a family of viruses that include the common cold, and viruses such as SARS and MERS. There is no evidence to suggest it was developed artificially as a weapon of mass destruction.