Disinfo: Italy and other states have deliberately used the COVID-19 pandemic to establish sanitary dictatorships

Summary

Italy and other states  have deliberately used the COVID-19 pandemic to establish sanitary dictatorships and subjugate the population by spreading fear and terror. The virus of fear spread by governments is the most dangerous virus. The virus of fear has transformed people into slaves of  sanitary dictatorships who voluntarily give up their civil rights.  This system of terror is used to keep de-legitimised  regimes in power that have lost popular support.

In Italy, the sanitary dictatorship imprisoned the population for three months. Hidden persuasion techniques were used by the government to make terrorised citizens accept measures which were crazy and destructive of civil liberties.

In contrast to the Italian government, the political communication strategy adopted by President Putin and President Trump aimed at containing the spread of fear. Putin and Trump also supported workers hit hard by the economic crisis, while in Italy the state abandoned needy workers and even imposed the payment of taxes on them. President Putin, moreover, has restored spiritual values in Russia, thus effectively protecting the population from the virus of fear.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory. No evidence is given to support the article’s claims that the Italian or other Western governments have deliberately spread fear about COVID-19 in order to establish dictatorships.

This is an example of the recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative claiming that Western governments have exploited the coronavirus pandemic, and have spread exaggerated fears about it, in order to abolish liberal democracies and establish dictatorships, while Russia has adopted a rational and balanced approach to handling the pandemic, aimed at preventing the spread of fear among the population.

This narrative is consistent with a closely related pro-Kremlin disinformation theme that seeks to downplay the severity and urgency of the COVID-19 outbreak, or even to claim that COVID-19 is fake and a political move to install hegemony

According to these narratives, COVID-19 restrictions introduced by governments – such as lockdowns, quarantines and social distancing – are irrational, hysterical and/or pursue hidden goals of élites and powerful lobbies. These narratives aim to discredit actions taken by the World Health Organisation and by individual countries to stop the spread of the new disease.

It is not true that COVID-19 restrictions, introduced by Italy and other governments (including several EU member states) to fight the coronavirus pandemic, have provoked the collapse of liberal democracy and the establishment of dictatorships. Such emergency provisions, such as the curtailment of freedom of movement, are tools that democratic governments need to use, for a limited period of time, in order to rapidly and effectively protect the public health of citizens.

It  is also not true that the public health dangers of  COVID-19 have been deliberately exaggerated by the Italian or other governments. 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 ever since. The number of COVID-19 cases has surpassed 37,109,851 globally with over 1,070,355 deaths as of October 11, 2020.

However, the death rate aside, the major concern with the COVID-19 pandemic is its potential to overwhelm national healthcare systems, resulting in even more deaths because patients cannot receive treatment as hospitals exceed capacity. Thus, flattening the curve and limiting the spread of the virus - which is highly transmittable - is recommended as an essential precautionary measure by international health authorities, including the WHO.

Moreover, restrictive and preventive measures -  such as quarantines, social distancing, and the use of face masks - are not (as the article claims) “crazy and liberticide” actions that should be rejected by populations: they are necessary measures introduced by governments to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Read similar cases claiming that ruling élites are spreading coronavirus panic in order to gain unlimited powers and to actively interfere in the economy and that Western governments are deliberately exaggerating and spreading fear about the pandemic in order to strengthen global corporate capitalism.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 215
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 05/10/2020
  • Language/target audience: Italian, English
  • Country: Italy, Russia, US
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Conspiracy theory, Dictatorship, Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Conspiracy, The West

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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Poland, Lithuania and Western countries directly involved in the organisation of a coup in Belarus

The Czech Foreign Ministry calls its ambassador back from Minsk for consultations after Western countries supported an attempted coup in Belarus.

The diplomat will leave Minsk in about a week. Therefore, the Czech Republic wants to express its solidarity with Poland and Lithuania. These countries were directly involved in the organisation of the Belarusian coup, so Minsk demanded that they recall their ambassadors and reduce their diplomatic presence in the Republic of Belarus.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Belarusian protests.

Belarusian authorities recently demanded that Lithuania and Poland reduce their diplomatic staff in Belarus. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania held intensive consultations with other Foreign Ministries of the European Union on this demand and agreed, together with Poland, that a temporary leave of the Polish and Lithuanian ambassadors for consultations would help to reduce tensions and to maintain diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level. According to Lithuania’s Foreign Minister, there has been no agreement on the non-reduction of staff. However, if Belarus continues to insist, adequate “mirror” measures will be taken in response. In solidarity with their Polish and Lithuanian colleagues, the Czech Republic, Slovak Republic and Bulgaria decided at 8th October 2020 to temporarily recall their ambassadors from Belarus.

There is no evidence that Poland, Lithuania or any other Western governments are at all involved in the protests in Belarus. Protests in Belarus erupted to contest the results of the presidential election in Belarus on the 9th of August, which were not monitored by independent experts, and are largely considered fraudulent by both international observers and a big part of the Belarusian society. On 19 August 2020 the European Council called the Belarusian elections neither free nor fair. Mobilisations were organised and carried out by local actorsopposition politicians and Belarusian citizens, without any foreign involvement.

Latvia and Estonia backed an attempted putsch in Belarus

The ambassadors of Latvia and Estonia were recalled from Minsk after the Baltic countries had backed an attempted putsch in Belarus.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about Western attempts to organise a coup or colour revolution in Belarus.

The protests in Belarus erupted to contest the results of the presidential election on the 9th of August, which were not monitored by independent experts, and are largely considered fraudulent by both international observers and a big part of the Belarusian society. On 19 August 2020 the European Council called Belarusian elections neither free nor fair. Mobilisations were organised and carried out by local actorsopposition politicians and Belarusian citizens, without any foreign involvement.

Novichok is a word coined by a British TV series in early 2000

The name Novichok isn’t a Russian name but was taken from a British series broadcast in early 2000, and it has since stuck in people’s heads.

Disproof

The story advances the recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the poisoning of Alexei Navalny.

“Novichok” - “Newcomer in English” is a name that was given to a group of nerve agents developed by the Soviet Union in the 1970s and 1980s in a covert programme codenamed Foliant that was revealed by defectors.