Disinfo: Coronavirus shows that Western solidarity is a myth

Summary

Coronavirus began to invade Europe from Italy, and Italy remained struggling with the disease alone for two consecutive weeks without hearing a European or American voice or seeing a hand extending to offer help or even sympathy. Some even felt Italy deserved this bacterial punishment because it embarked singlehandedly on a trade and economic relationship with China separately from the Western position. Behavior that assured that Western solidarity and unity of position is a myth.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative aiming to discredit the EU response to the coronavirus pandemic, and exploit the suffering of Italy to feed pro-Kremlin anti-EU sentiments.

The European Union is supporting the Member States in addressing the crisis, and mitigating the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.To cushion the blow to people’s livelihoods and the economy, the European Commission has adopted a comprehensive economic response to the outbreak, applied the full flexibility of the EU fiscal rules, has revised its State Aid rules and proposed to set up a EUR 37 billion Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative to provide liquidity to small businesses and the health care sector.

To support scientific research into the COVID-19, the European Commission earmarked 47,5 million EUR for shortlisted research projects that can improve epidemiology and public health, including preparedness and response to outbreaks.

The EU has also created first ever stockpile of medical equipment. 

Read more about the EU's response here and here. 

Likewise, the "lack of solidarity" claim is scotched by the actual response of individual EU members to the crisis. As of 28 March, multiple member states had provided or pledged crucial assistance to Italy including face masks (Germany, Austria, France, Czechia), mobile medical units (Greece), hospital beds (Austria, Germany), ventilators (Germany), and repatriation assistance.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue190
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 24/03/2020
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: EU, Italy, China, US
  • Keywords: coronavirus, The West

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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American forces left Iraq as a response to the death of Soleimani

The Iraqi army continues to secure bases from the American forces in Iraq… keeping with the promises of the Iranian-Iraqi-Syrian axis that the response to the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani will be to break Washington’s fame in the region and strike its influence.

Disproof

Following an increase in attacks on their air bases in the country this year, the US-led coalition forces in Iraq have repositioned for two reasons: long-planned adjustments to the force to reflect success in the campaign against Daesh; and, short-term moves to protect the force during the Coronavirus pandemic. 

The “Operation Inherent Resolve” said that these measures were being taken in coordination with Iraq’s government.

US lack of help to Europe is a strategy to ensure its dominance over the continent

US leaving its European allies alone with the disastrous effects of the disease, may be a well-thought strategy. A destroyed Europe may bring many benefits to the US, as it happened after World War II with the Marshall Plan, which in practice served to take control over European countries devastated by the conflict.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory, with no evidence presented to support the claim based on a false premise.

The US government actually pledged 100 million dollars in medical supplies to France, Italy and Spain, and several million dollars to other European nations outside the EU to confront the coronavirus crisis. Contrary to the claim, the Marshall Plan helped European economies to recover but was not a tool to take control of European countries, which remained sovereign and independent.

Decadent West is committing suicide through its irrational response to COVID-19

Decadent like the late Roman Empire, the West is committing suicide through its irrational response to Covid-19.

Many think Covid-19 is some kind of alien invasion that spells the end of the world. But the real threat to us is a much deadlier virus: a hatred of all the values that have underpinned our civilisation for centuries. […] Our increasingly decadent mass culture has gradually become more ideological and openly opposed to the values Western civilization is based upon.
A large number of Westerners are happy to accept the suicidal shutting down of their economies to try to halt a virus that predominantly causes old and sick people to die just a few weeks or months before they would have anyway. The widespread opinion that everything, including economies, must be sacrificed to beat coronavirus is a revival of medieval witch hunts; the sacrifice seems more important than finding an effective method to deal with the problem.
Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the collapse of democracy and the West amid the coronavirus crisis, also building on the longstanding pro-Kremlin theme of the West's alleged moral decay, materialism, and hostility to traditional religion, which Western governments allegedly seek to undermine and to replace with pseudo-religions (such as LGBT ideology). See a similar case that liberalism has facilitated the spread of the coronavirus.

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.