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
see more

EU wants to expand towards East by destabilising the Caucasus

The (Ukrainian) coup was orchestrated (by the EU) in Kyiv.

The EU wants to expand towards the East, the Mediterranean region, and the Black Sea, just as it tried hard for two decades to build bridges of extremism and terrorism to Russia’s loose flank in the Caucasus.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Euromaidan, painting the 2013-14 protests in Kyiv as a violent coup, in this case orchestrated by the EU.

The demonstrations which began in Kyiv in November 2013, called "Maidan", or "Euromaidan", were not provoked from outside but were a result of the Ukrainian people's frustration with former President Yanukovych's last-minute U-turn when, after seven years of negotiation, he refused to sign the EU–Ukraine Association Agreement and halted progress towards Ukraine's closer relationship with the EU as a result of Russian pressure.

Historical Crimean Russian land returned

Historical Russian lands were returned to Russia in accordance with a popular referendum that met all the internationally recognized legal and constitutional conditions.

The Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev, granted the peninsula (Crimea) to the Republic of Ukraine for purely administrative reasons, and within the framework of the Soviet Union that brought Russia and Ukraine together in the framework of a single superpower.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the illegal annexation of Crimea

No international body recognises the so-called referendum, announced 27th of February and held less than three weeks later.

The US Defender 2020 manoeuvre is directed against Russia

Thus, in addition to the US large-scale manoeuvre Defender Europe 2020, which is also directed against Russia by rehearsing the transfer of troops in the direction of the Russian border, the US-led manoeuvre BALTOPS 2020 will also be carried out over the Baltic Sea.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the West/ NATO threatening or encircling Russia and the US-led military exercise "Defender-Europe 2020", which is not aimed or targeted at Russia. US Major General Andrew Rohling Deputy Commanding General for the US Army in Europe, informs that the US-led exercise "Defender 2020" is an American exercise with 18 NATO partner countries. Rohling emphasises that the aim of the exercise is not to target any country, but rather to test strategic readiness and how to react to a crisis.

Exercise Defender-Europe 2020 is the deployment of a division-size combat-credible force from the United States to Europe, the drawing of equipment and the movement of personnel and equipment across the Atlantic to various training areas in Europe, like Germany and Poland. With US Defender Europe 2020, the 18 participating NATO-countries are therefore practising procedures to ensure and demonstrate the ability to relocate and also to confirm the alliance's commitment to supporting and, in particular, to show the United States' commitment to Europe's security.