Disinfo: Georgian Lugar Lab might produce biological weapons

Summary

The next important object is the Lugar Laboratory, also known as the Georgian Research Center in Tbilisi, which is functioning at the disposal of the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health of Georgia and is the investment project of the USA aimed at creating a strategic military facility. The laboratory is studying especially dangerous infectious diseases, but it hides the true motives of its research, which may indicate the possibility of developing biological weapons.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative concerning the coronavirus pandemic and the Tbilisi-based Lugar Lab.

The story fits the broader set of conspiracy theories on the supposed man-made origins of various infectious diseases. There is no evidence that SARS, MERS, or avian influenzas were created in laboratories.

The Lugar laboratory does not "hide" its activities. On the contrary, as a partner institution of the World Health Organisation, it has been repeatedly inspected for adherence to international health standards. One such inspection, in September 2018, was carried out specifically in response to Russia's false accusations that the center had been manufacturing bioweapons. According to one of the visiting experts, they "were given access to all areas of the site, examined relevant documentation, and interviewed staff, and concluded that the Centre demonstrates significant transparency. Our group observed nothing out of the ordinary, or that we wouldn’t expect to see in a legitimate facility of this sort."

The virus "2019-nCoV” comes from a family of viruses that include the common cold and viruses such as SARS and MERS. There is no evidence to suggest it was developed artificially in a laboratory as a weapon of mass destruction. A group of public health scientists have condemned rumours and conspiracy theories about the origin of 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.

See here for further debunking by POLYGRAPH.info.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue191
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 30/03/2020
  • Language/target audience: English
  • Country: US, Georgia
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Lugar Laboratory, Biological weapons

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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