Disinfo: Europe’s failure to deal with the coronavirus is due to its sense of ideological superiority

Summary

Europe has experienced a long period of peace and prosperity. Its whole society feels entitled to prosperity and security without having to strive for it. Many people have forgotten that freedom means above all responsibility and respect for others. They are under the impression that they have the right to do anything they want, and that the state is obliged to solve problems they cause. This, too, was the reason behind the carefree attitudes of many politicians and the public in the early stages of the epidemic.

Europe’s failure was largely due to the fact that, thanks to a sense of ideological superiority, it failed to follow the logical steps taken in Asia and see the impending risks. Taking experience and assistance from these countries does not mean taking over their political system. However, a majority of politicians and the public have not yet realised this.

These Asian countries did not even consider the possibility of taking a herd immunity approach, as was adopted in some other countries, mainly because of their traditional respect for old age and family.

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, characterised by hedonism, materialism, and hostility to traditional religion, which Western governments allegedly seek to undermine and to replace with pseudo-religions (such as LGBT ideology and feminism). See similar cases that liberalism has facilitated the spread of the coronavirus, and that the coronavirus "war" is finally forcing Western ultraliberals to finally care for vulnerable people.

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 case also invokes another recurring pro-Kremlin narrative that has emerged during the coronavirus crisis: that democracies and open societies are collapsing and unable to effectively manage the pandemic, while closed, "traditionalist" societies have coped much better. Authoritarian regimes, which tend to control and manipulate information and to limit the freedom of doctors and scientists to engage in international cooperation, are often an obstacle to the timely detection and containment of epidemic outbreaks.

A coordinated, cross-border effort by the scientific and medical community to understand the virus, develop cures and treatments, and speedily disseminate a vaccine across national borders will end the pandemic. This collaboration is already underway, with the EU taking a leading role.

More on EU repsonse to the COVID-19 outbreak here

See additional disinformation cases on the coronavirus here and on the West's moral collapse here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 191
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 31/03/2020
  • Language/target audience: Czech
  • Country: EU, Czech Republic
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Western values, European values, Europe
see more

US state medical team that banned hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 lacks qualification

The US state of Nevada’s medical team, which banned FDA-approved malaria drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to treat the coronavirus, lacks qualification.

Disproof

This is part of the pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign around the coronavirus, and specifically its efforts to spread false or misleading health information related to COVID-19, its prevention, and its treatment. See similar false claims like that COVID-19 can be cured with saline solution, that treatment for COVID-19 will lead to forced vaccination, that handwashing is useless for preventing the spread of the virus, and that we have "nothing to lose" by making hydroxychloroquine publicly available without testing. False and misleading health claims are the most dangerous and irresponsible aspect of coronavirus-related disinformation, as they can have a direct impact on people’s health and even their lives.

This article baselessly accuses a US state medical team of lacking professional qualifications in order to provoke doubt about the state's decision to ban the use of anti-malarial drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of COVID-19. These drugs have not yet been tested for their effectiveness against COVID-19 and are not recommended for this purpose by health authorities, including the WHO and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which states that as of yet "there are no FDA-approved therapeutics or drugs to treat, cure or prevent COVID-19." The FDA is currently investigating whether chloroquine "can be used to treat patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 to potentially reduce the duration of symptoms, as well as viral shedding, which can help prevent the spread of disease."

Coronavirus exposes the weakness of European humanism

Coronavirus has tested the resilience of Western democracies and above all of  European solidarity. They both proved to be hollow. The critical point was the coronavirus outbreak in Italy which was left helpless by its European partners. Czechia seized a cargo of Chinese medical gear destined for Italy, Spain turned against Italy, and Germany preferred to close its borders. European inaction was also manifested by the comments made by Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic, who accused the Europeans for leaving his country helpless.

Disproof

This message is part of the Kremlin’s disinformation campaign around the Coronavirus epidemic – it promotes a narrative of the imminent collapse of the EU due to the problems caused by the Coronavirus epidemic.

The EU is accelerating procurement and distribution of medical equipment for its Member States. The joint procurement of personal protective equipment launched by the European Commission is one of the major initiatives undertaken.

Zinc could help kill coronavirus

Food products that contain large amounts of zinc are necessary to activate the so-called killer cells in the body, these cells are tasked with killing other cells infected with the virus (coronavirus).

Disproof

There is no medical evidence to support the claim that zinc could help against catching the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

Zinc is a nutrient that helps your immune system fight off infection. Too much of zinc is toxic and may cause copper deficiency, anaemia and damage to the nervous system.