Disinfo: Harvard professor arrested for creating COVID-19

Summary

Professor Charles Lieber from Harvard University had been arrested in the United States for creating the novel coronavirus. Lieber could have supplied China with the nanotechnology necessary for creating the coronavirus.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative that the novel coronavirus is man-made and spread by the US.

Charles Lieber’s arrest has nothing to do with the novel coronavirus. News about the arrest of Professor Charles Lieber, Chair of the Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department at Harvard University, first emerged on January 28, 2020. Lieber was accused of lying to the U.S. Department of Defense about his connections with China. The U.S. government deemed the cooperation a security concern.  A number of U.S. media outlets reported about the fact, while Harvard University released an official statement.

Georgian resource Myth Detector has studied the case and found that disinformation about Professor Lieber’s links to coronavirus was spread by clickbait and hidden websites. They deliberately used sensational headlines to spread the news about Lieber’s arrest. Russian sources cloned well-known Western brands, such as BBC and CNN, creating a perception that famous international media outlets were the sources of information.

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The US prepares its Marine Corps to deliver a blow against China

An inevitable confrontation? The US is preparing its marines to deliver a blow against China. The US Marine Corps is experiencing one of the most radical reforms in its recent history, being remodelled to be able to act in far corners of the world in new conditions. The goal is to prepare it to confront China in its zone of interest, the South China Sea.

Disproof

Though the reporting on the reform of the US Marine Corps is correct, there is a deliberate distortion of the information by stating that the US is preparing to “deliver a blow to China” in a perhaps “inevitable confrontation”, implying some kind of preparation for an attack against the country.

The mention of China’s “zone of interest” is also significant by taking Beijing’s claims over the territory for granted, in line with the Kremlin’s well-documented ‘sphere of influence’ policy. Actually, while China claims its sovereignty over 80 percent of the South China Sea territory, the US and other Western powers defend their right of access to key shipping and air routes in the region, regularly conducting “freedom of navigation” operations to ensure it. In 2018, France and UK also took part in one of these missions.

DPR and LPR successfully fight the coronavirus outbreak, while Ukraine will collapse

Soros may not save Zelenskyy from an upcoming coup d’etat. So far, the coronavirus outbreak saves Ukrainian president from a Maidan and gives him precious time for cleansing among the military. Most likely events in Ukraine will develop along a shocking scenario. The country will not manage the epidemic, socioeconomic and political crisis will disintegrate Ukraine. The Ukrainian army is in catastrophic condition due to the coronavirus epidemic. Soldiers are panicking and defecting. According to some data, during March 2020, 1,305 Ukrainian soldiers were infected, 197 were placed in intensive therapy units, and 30 people died. In sharp contrast with Ukrainian epidemiological catastrophe, the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics undertake systematic measures to fight coronavirus. DPR and LPR reported only a few coronavirus cases and one death. Thanks to Russian support, DPR and LPR successfully fight the epidemic.

 

Disproof

This is a mix of conspiracies and propaganda narratives aimed to discredit Ukraine. It presents Volodymyr Zelenskyy as George Soros's protege, provides an unrealistic comparison of the coronavirus-related situation in Ukraine and Russian controlled DPR and LPR, and paints Ukraine's disintegration. Thus, the message fits into recurring pro-Kremlin propaganda narratives about Ukraine being under Soros's control and its inevitable disintegration.

Ukraine is a sovereign state, not controlled by any foreign government or George Soros. Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are respected by almost the whole world, including the EU. You can find several disinformation cases on Ukraine being under foreign control in our database.

The coronavirus infection on a US aircraft carrier jeopardises the invasion of Venezuela

The situation of near-mutiny aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, where 430 soldiers out of 2,000 tested positive for Covid-19, left a strategic hole in the Pacific to contain China, so it was replaced by the USS Harry S. Truman, which was itself in front of the coasts of Iran. This leaves the invasion of Venezuela pending. The invasion is being seriously challenged by US military leaders, but it would serve Donald Trump to win Texas and Florida in the November 2020 election, states that he needs to maintain at any price.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory not sustained by any evidence. The stated goal of the US naval anti-drug operation ashore Venezuela that triggered allegations about an eventual invasion is to nearly double the US counter-narcotics capacity in the Western Hemisphere. Experts pointed out that the military assets mobilised are consistent with that goal but not sufficient for a successful invasion, contrary to what is claimed.

This is part of a recurrent Russian disinformation narrative about constant US plots to undermine Latin American governments. You can see many examples in our database, such as alleged plans to designate drug cartels as terrorist organisations as a cover for military control of Mexico, the next country in Washington’s destabilisation list after Bolivia; claims of a US plot to invade Mexico; an alleged CIA-led Twitter campaign and a hybrid war in Bolivia, the engineering of blackouts all over Latin America, the promotion of secessionism in Mexico or Venezuela, the training of Venezuelan exiles in Guyana for military operations inside the country, preparations for a military intervention in that country after forcing Brazil to join NATO or the existence of an alleged 'Operation Condor for the XXIst century'.