Disinfo: Coronavirus is man-made


For China, it has been exposed to the Coronavirus virus in the Chinese city of Wuhan since the fall of 2019, specifically after the Military Olympics in that city. Chinese leaders consider that the epidemic was introduced to China by the American military delegation participating in these games. This entry might be a coincidence after the virus was engineered in a US military laboratory without taking the necessary precautions if the Chinese leadership wanted not to assume bad faith on the part of the Americans. What strengthens the Chinese allegation is the recognition by Robert Radfield, the director of the Center for Disease Control (CDC), that a number of infections were discovered in the United States before they spread to China. But there is another account that says that the virus was French-made (made in 2003) and was transferred to a Sino-French joint laboratory that opened in 2017 in the city of Wuhan. Bats were experimented with, but one of the bats escaped from the laboratory and the epidemic occurred. However, regardless of the accounts and their accuracy, it has become clear that the greatest possibility is that the virus is man-made and not natural, and therefore open questions about bacterial experiments in laboratories and their feasibility and the possibility of turning them into a weapon of mass destruction.

A recurring conspiracy theory that echo pro-Kremlin disinformation about coronavirus being man-made. The current coronavirus (2019-nCoV) comes from a family of viruses that include other viruses such as SARS and MERS. The identity of the animal source of the coronavirus, named nCoV-2019, has been one of the key questions for researchers. Coronaviruses are known to circulate in mammals and birds, and scientists have already suggested that nCoV-2019 originally came from bats. One of the previous coronaviruses that caused severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, spread from bats to civet cats to humans. A group of 27 prominent public health scientists have condemned rumours and conspiracy theories about the origin of the coronavirus outbreak: "We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin." The authors of The Lancet statement note that scientists from several countries who have studied SARS-CoV-2 "overwhelmingly conclude that this coronavirus originated in wildlife", just like many other viruses that have recently emerged in humans. "Conspiracy theories do nothing but create fear, rumours and prejudice that jeopardise our global collaboration in the fight against this virus," the statement says.


  • Reported in: Issue 191
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 21/03/2020
  • Language/target audience: English
  • Country: China, US, France
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Conspiracy theory


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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At the times of the coronavirus pandemic the EUMM helps Tbilisi to violate the border with South Ossetia

The Tbilisi regime is using the corona virus pandemic to exacerbates the situation on the state border [with South Ossetia]. On the night of March 22-23, the Georgian side, with the active support of the EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM), used three balloons and one light UAV to conduct optical reconnaissance over the South Ossetian territory, positions of the South Ossetian KGB and border patrols of Russian FSB. While Russia provides humanitarian and medical assistance to Italy in the fight against the coronavirus, the EUMM, with its mandate, actually covers up the irresponsible activities of the Georgian security forces, which aim to complicate the functioning of the state border between South Ossetia and Georgia and create additional security threats.  


Conspiracy theory consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the EU's Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM). The EUMM was deployed immediately following the war between Russia and Georgia in 2008. Its mandate is to support the restoration of ordinary life, to prevent a return to hostilities, to build confidence among the conflict parties and to inform about EU policy. The EUMM comes under frequent pro-Kremlin disinformation attacks, see earlier cases alleging that EUMM observers violated the administrative boundary line; and that it encourages Georgia's destructive activities near the South Ossetian border; The European Union remains fully committed to peaceful conflict resolution in Georgia and reiterates its firm support to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognised borders.

Latvia protects Nazi criminals

Due to coronavirus the march of Latvian SS legionnaires was cancelled. At the same time, Russia has announced the names of 96 Nazis criminals from Latvia who are alive and respected in Latvia. They managed to avoid responsibility by hiding in Nazi-loyal states.      


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Nazi/Fascist Baltic states, consistent with broader efforts of historical revisionism, to whitewash the role of the Soviet Union in the WW2. For more information about the March 16 events in Latvia read here. See related disinformation cases alleging that the Baltic States laugh at the memory of those who perished in Holocaust; that Nazis are in power in Latvia; that the Baltic authorities associate themselves with Hitler.  

Healthcare in the West is in terrible condition

European healthcare is in horrible condition. TV and media in the US report that the healthcare system has not been prepared to face the threat of the virus.


This is a mix of groundless claims around COVID-19. According to the Global Health Security Index of global health security capabilities in 195 countries, the US and EU countries have a better level of healthcare in comparison to other countries around the world. For example, Netherlands rank 3rd out of 195 countries, France - 11, Germany - 14, Spain - 15, Portugal - 20, Austria - 26, Estonia - 29, Italy - 31, Poland - 32, Hungary - 35, Czech Republic - 42. The USA is in the first place in this rating. In turn, Russia is in 63rd place. The GHS Index assesses countries’ health security and capabilities across six categories, 34 indicators, and 85 sub-indicators. See more information about their research here.