Disinfo: The Covid-19 pandemic was an economic war plot against China that backfired

Summary

The coronavirus crisis is an economic war. The first goal was to break China’s back, and the Chinese economy suffered greatly. But the plan not only failed, it has been extremely counterproductive given that China is part of the supply chain for the West. Socio-economic costs are now exorbitant.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory, with no evidence provided to support any of the claims and part of Russia’s disinformation campaign on the coronavirus, well documented by both media and governments. Elements of this campaign were widely reported by Russian and international publications, and by the European External Action Service.

EUvsDisinfo database has a long set of Kremlin-linked disinformation cases on this subject, such as claims that Bill Gates and George Soros are sponsoring the Wuhan coronavirus, that it is a UKUS or NATO creation and Americans have its cure, that it is an artificial disease which specifically targets Chinese DNA, that it is a pretext to gain control of the world’s population, that it was created with economic goals while big pharma companies are spreading panic for their own profits, that it is a biological weapon against Russia and China, that it will wipe out Ukraine’s population in a few days or that it was predicted by Nostradamus and others.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 191
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 25/03/2020
  • Language/target audience: Spanish, Castilian
  • Country: China
  • Keywords: coronavirus

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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People in Belgium want schools to open so they don’t have to take care of their children

In Belgium, people are only interested in the dates when schools open again, so they don’t have to take care of their children more than they have to. And there are still opinions, even from doctors, that there was no need to close the schools.

Everyone is shocked that the theory that the coronavirus will be everywhere but will miraculously avoid Belgium has failed. 90 percent of the country believed that the coronavirus is no more than the flu.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory and baseless accusations with no evidence provided. This is part of the ongoing pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign around the coronavirus, which often involves attempts to portray the EU and European countries unable to deal effectively with the outbreak. In this case, the claim attacks the alleged incompetence and ignorance of Belgian people, without providing any evidence to back up its accusations.

This case also plays on the common pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative of the West's alleged moral decay and rejection of traditional values, suggesting - again with no evidence - that Belgians "don't want to take care of their children". The notion of "threatened values" is one of the master narratives used in pro-Kremlin disinformation, in order to suggest that those committed to decency and traditionalism are under attack from liberal “tyranny”. This narrative is adapted to a wide range of topics and typically used to challenge progressive Western attitudes about the rights of women, ethnic and religious minorities, and LGBTQ groups, among others. It often aims to portray the West as depraved, an immoral actor that fights against traditional values, promotes deviant sexual behavior, and endangers societies.

Italians change EU flags to Russian tricolor

Italians change EU flags to Russian tricolor.

The Russian aid made Italians think who their true ally is. Calls and demands for the lifting of anti-Russian sanctions began sounding in the country.

Disproof

Misleading headline.

What the pro-Kremlin media portrays as a widespread phenomenon is based on anecdotal evidence. For a more detailed debunk see reporting by BBC Russian service.

COVID-19: A large-scale sociological experiment to see how much repression the people will accept

The severe measures, justified or not, are a sort of large-scale “sociological experiment” which aims to see how much repression would people be willing to accept, for a vague justification, and how politicized could the entire situation be. It could potentially also show how far people can be pushed before there’s riots on the streets, and the lack of “entertainment” leads to people finding ways to “entertain” themselves. As it has been proven time and again, mob mentality dictates that “entertainment” usually means decapitating the elite.

Disproof

An unfounded conspiracy theory, sharing a recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative about "secret elites" controlling world leaders.

COVID-19 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, with cases being reported in 190 countries, territories and areas. The number of COVID-19 cases is closing up on 700,000 globally with over 33,000 deaths by 30 March 2020.