Disinfo: Governments are fiddling with the numbers to exaggerate the death toll of the coronavirus


The World Health Organization, headed by a politician with a dodgy past and funded largely by Bill Gates, has officially declared a pandemic. In response, one “Western” government after another has declared a national emergency and put the country in lockdown. As a result, millions and millions are now losing their jobs and entire national economies are made to suffer irreparable damage, yet aggregate average monthly death rates are not even higher than in 2019, 2018 and 2017. From the very beginning, aided by a supine press, governments have been fiddling with the numbers, going to extremes to give the impression that the coronavirus death toll is appalling. […]
Only a government without a grasp of reality, with a total lack of ethical and political principles, accustomed to trampling on the rights of citizens for decades, would decree a total lockdown just to save a few people, or a government that would be taking orders from some unknown higher authority.


An unfounded conspiracy theory, sharing a recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative about "secret elites" controlling world leaders.

When in March 11, 2020 the WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic, there were more than 118 thousand confirmed coronavirus cases in 114 countries. An updated situation report from WHO on the coronavirus pandemic can be found here.

See more examples of  pro-Kremlin disinformation about the coronavirus here.


  • Reported in: Issue 191
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 04/04/2020
  • Language/target audience: English
  • Country: US
  • Keywords: coronavirus, WHO, Conspiracy theory


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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The lack of solidarity against Covid-19 may cause the end of the EU

The lack of solidarity against Covid-19 may entail the end of political blocks like the European Union. European countries will suffer more than others like Russia, China or India due to the lack of solidarity of the north of the EU with the south. It is shocking to see Russian convoys helping Italy while Germany, France, the Netherlands or Austria didn’t move a finger to help their partners.


This claim exploits the coronavirus pandemic to push a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the EU's alleged imminent collapse.

One of the main pro-Kremlin narratives relating to the pandemic is that the EU is failing to cope with the COVID-19 crisis and, as a result, is disintegrating, together with the border-free Schengen area. In particular, this narrative of failure and lack of EU solidarity is trending after the delivery of Russian aid to Italy.

There is no COVID-19 pandemic, coronavirus is just like the flu

We don’t know how many fake messages there are these days. There are Italian doctors who have spread information about the coronavirus on the internet, and there is a strong suspicion that what they say is not true. If they took the test away, life would be the same. There would be nothing here at all. There would be no evidence of increased mortality or morbidity or sickness. There is nothing going on at all at the moment.


This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation attempt to downplay the severity and urgency of the COVID-19 outbreak, which has been classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation. Pro-Kremlin media have spread a variety of false claims to push this message, for example that coronavirus mortality figures are insignificant, that COVID-19 is fake and a political move to install hegemony, and that the virus is safe.

The novel coronavirus, which causes the COVID-19 disease, belongs to a family of viruses originating in animals that include others such as SARS and MERS. It was first reported in the city of Wuhan in central China in late 2019 and has been rapidly spreading across the world, with cases being reported in 200 countries, territories and areas. The number of COVID-19 cases has surpassed four million globally with over 280,000 deaths as of 11 May 2020.

Russia invented a cure for coronavirus

Russia introduced a drug for the treatment of a new type of coronavirus. The drug is based on the antimalarial drug mefloquine and is also developing an effective and safe system of prevention against coronavirus.


This is part of the pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign around the coronavirus. According to WHO, to date, there is no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

The anti-malarial drug mefloquine has been considered as a drug against a new type of coronavirus in several countries. The tests were carried out, for example, by China or France. However, its efficacy has not been verified and extensive clinical trials would have to be carried out for general use. A French medicine watchdog ANSM even has warned of the dangerous side effects of malaria drugs being used against the novel coronavirus due to some crucial side effects that appeared at several patients who used them for self-medication.