Disinfo: COVID-19 is an artificial virus from a laboratory in China

Summary

The Coronavirus was artificially created. The coronavirus pandemic “began as an accident” when the engineered virus escaped from a laboratory in China.

The virus did not occur naturally, but was man-made by Chinese scientists.

Disproof

A recurring conspiracy theory that echoes pro-Kremlin disinformation about the artificial creation of COVID-19.

The quote originates from an private opinion in an The-Telegraph-podcast, which provides no sources or proof for the accusations and claims about the artificial creation of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The opinion refers to a "important new scientific report by British and Norwegian researchers", but no source or reference is provided, therefore the claims can not be verified.

There is no evidence that the coronavirus (COVID-19) was created in laboratories. COVID-19 comes from a family of viruses that include the common cold and viruses such as SARS and MERS. Coronaviruses are known to circulate in mammals and birds, and scientists have already suggested that COVID-19 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.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 200
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 04/06/2020
  • Language/target audience: German
  • Country: China
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Conspiracy theory, laboratory

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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