Disinfo: Former members of Bush Administration created an anti-communist group to advise president Trump against China


Several advisors for President Trump are members of a group born out of the George W. Bush administration, calling themselves Red Dawn. The New York Times just released some mails from these people. This group, nostalgic for the Cold War, is viscerally anti-communist. The USSR ceased to exist, but China is still being ruled by the Communist Party. They are convinced that “evil” Chinese are attacking them with Covid-19. President Trump marginalised them, but their ideas entered the public debate. In the same way that the 9/11 events allowed the adoption of the Patriot Act, which had been prepared in advance, now Covid-19 allows former members of the Bush Administration to reactivate their own crusade.


This is a conspiracy theory deliberately misrepresenting the so-called ‘Red Dawn group’, which is by no means a formal group. According to the documents, originally published by the site Kaiser Health News and later collected and reviewed by the New York Times, the Red Dawn was simply a chain of email exchanges between a US elite group of infectious disease doctors and medical experts in the federal government and academic institutions, both inside and outside of the government. This group was concerned by the implications of the novel coronavirus outbreak and the response of the Trump Administration and other governments and global institutions, which they considered ill-conceived and insufficient.

“Red Dawn” was a notoriously anti-communist film released in 1984, but apart from that, there is no mention of any anti-communist ideology or any plan against China in the emails, or to any attack from the “evil Chinese”. The fact that some of these long-career experts served in the George W. Bush Administration is largely irrelevant, and there is no evidence that this group has an agenda to be implemented concerning taking advantage of the Covid-19 crisis.

This is part of Russia’s disinformation campaign on coronavirus, well documented by both media and governments, and some of its elements were widely reported by Russian and international publications and by the European External Action Service.

The 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.

This disinformation message appeared in the same article as claims that “Some in the US want to prevent China from explaining its efforts to deliver aid against Covid-19” and that “Coronavirus may be the latest steps in NATO’s containment strategy against China”.


  • Reported in: Issue 195
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 01/05/2020
  • Language/target audience: Spanish, Castilian
  • Country: China, US
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Donald Trump, The New York Times


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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Plans to close biolabs in Ukraine made US start supporting Euromaidan

The coronavirus pandemic and the rumours of its artificial origins have activated the discussion on US biolabs, located around Russian borders. Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and, of course, Ukraine are covered by a network of laboratories, funded by Pentagon money. Attempts to rid oneself of these disputable institutions might even lead to an overturn of the powers in a country. […] The laboratories was one of the factors that drove the Americans to actively work for a regime change in Ukraine.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative alleging that the 2013-14 Ukrainian revolution was caused by external factors mixed with a narrative about American biological laboratories in Ukraine.

The U.S. did not initiate the 2013-14 Ukrainian revolution. The demonstrations which began in Kyiv in November 2013 – called "Maidan", or "Euromaidan" – 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.

Ukrainian government and Maidan leaders are guilty of the May 2, 2014 Odesa tragedy

Everyone knows that it was Parubiy [one of the leaders of the Euromaidan and the former speaker of the parliament] who organised the Odesa Khatyn [the fire in the House of the Trade Unions], resulting in 48 deaths and more than 250 people injured. Most of the victims of the tragedy were burned alive in the House of Trade Unions. The investigation established that riots in Odesa were organised and planned.


Pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about May 2, 2014 clashes in Odesa and the resulting fire in the House of the Trade Unions.

There is no evidence of Andriy Parubiy's involvement in the 2014 Odesa tragedy. At the time, Andriy Parubiy was the Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council.

Coronavirus may be the latest step in NATO’s containment strategy against China

It may be not coincidental that the coronavirus pandemic exploded in China right after the US tried every measure to end with the Chinese: a tariff war, blocking Huawei from 5G platforms, promulgating a so-called “law on Human Rights and Democracy” in support of demonstrators who were calling for Hong Kong’s independence, and pressing NATO to declare China as a threat. NATO is preparing to expand itself towards the Pacific to surround China, following the Containment Theory.


Conspiracy theory, with no evidence provided to support it. Though debates on the convenience of expanding NATO to Pacific and Asian countries are a reality, there is no proof that any concrete step has been already taken in this direction, contrary to the claims.

Suggestions that the Covid-19 outbreak may be some kind of tool in the US strategic competition with China are part of Russia’s disinformation campaign on coronavirus, mixed with a recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about alleged Western efforts to encircle both Russia and China. This campaign has been well documented by both media and governments, and some of its elements were widely reported by Russian and international publications and by the European External Action Service.