Disinfo: Coronavirus is a biological weapon created artificially

Summary

Coronavirus was created artificially and is a biological weapon. Researchers from India’s Jawaharlal Nehru University released a study, according to which COVID-19 contained HIV “insertions” and showed signs of being created in a lab. Since it is a new virus, Indian scientists concluded that the United States created COVID-19 to strike an economic blow against China.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory about the 2019-nCoV also known as coronavirus, based on recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about biological weapons.

There is no evidence that the novel coronavirus was bioengineered and genetic observations indicate that it came from an animal. Since the paper lacked substantiation, the authors soon voluntarily withdrew it.

Factcheck.org has verified the information about the study. The paper by Indian scientists, which was posted on the website bioRxiv on January 31, claimed to have identified very short “insertions” in the virus’ protein sequence that had an “uncanny similarity” to HIV. Numerous scientists, however, almost immediately pointed out to the flaws in the analysis, noting that the sequences are so short, they match a bevy of other organisms and there is no reason to conclude they derive from HIV.

Foreign Affairs also writes about groundless conspiracy theories and false findings that were not confirmed by the study conducted in India.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 189
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 16/03/2020
  • Language/target audience: Georgian, Russian
  • Country: China, US
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Conspiracy theory
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Coronavirus epidemic is provoking the collapse of globalisation and of the open society

The coronavirus epidemic is the decisive moment in the collapse of globalisation and in the destruction of the unipolar world. The pandemic has buried globalisation, the open society, and the global capitalist system.

The virus has destroyed the major myths underpinning globalisation, such as the myths claiming that open borders and interdependence among countries are beneficial, that international organisations are capable of dealing with emergency situations, that the global economy can cope with grave challenges.

The coronavirus pandemic is a turning point in world history. As a result of the pandemic, the world order is crumbling, liberalism and its total ideological domination are coming to an end, and a multipolar world is coming into being. The coronavirus has brought death, suffering, horror, panic, pain but it is also ushering in the future.

Disproof

Emerging pro-Kremlin narrative claiming that the coronavirus pandemic will soon lead to the breakdown of globalisation and the collapse of the global economic system.

The narrative of  “imminent collapse”  is one of the core instruments of pro-Kremlin disinformation outlets, used to spread demoralisation and self-doubt among target audiences, as well as to sow discord, panic, and diminish trust in national authorities, the EU and international institutions.

Areas most affected by coronavirus are at the 40 degrees north latitude

Isn’t it strange that the areas most affected by the coronavirus are at the same latitude? About 40 degrees north latitude. Is it a coincidence or some mysterious artificial influence?

Disproof

Conspiracy theory with no evidence given. One of many recurring disinformation narratives about the outbreak of COVID-19 coronavirus.

On March 12, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, chairperson and managing director of Biocon tweeted a viral image (archive link). Several users have shared on Twitter and Facebook. The viral claim lists four cities – Wuhan, Seattle, Washington and New York along with five countries – France, Italy, Iran, South Korea and Japan while claiming that “all worst affected coronavirus [Covid 19] cases are along the same Latitude 40°.”

Coronavirus was spread around the world from the US biological laboratories

The coronavirus was spread from the worldwide US biological laboratories.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory with no evidence given. Conspiracy about the 2019-nCoV coronavirus, based on recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about biological weapons and that the hat the outbreak of COVID-19 coronavirus is man-made.

COVID-19 is not a biological weapon. It comes from a family of viruses originating in animals that include other viruses such as SARS and MERS. It was first reported in the Chinese city of Wuhan in central China and has been rapidly spreading across the world. The number of COVID-19 cases surpassed 300,000 globally with over 14,000 deaths by 23 March 2020. Cases have been reported in 190 countries, territories and areas.