Disinfo: Just like 9/11, coronavirus might be a conspiracy

Summary

Two recent German studies have minimised the possibility of being infected by the coronavirus from the transmission of the virus by contact, air, or through coming into contact with external surfaces. The discovery that coronavirus might not be so infectious after all demonstrates that it might have been a conspiracy, and is reminiscent of old news about 9/11 that came out eight months after the attack. The news talked about the success of German scientists in designing a civil aircraft that can be controlled from the ground. This news posed a question about whether there was someone who controlled the two planes remotely to fabricate a terrorist act and attach it to Muslims.

Disproof
An unfounded conspiracy theory, about both the coronavirus threat as being exaggerated and about the 9/11 attack as being a conspiracy to attach it to Muslims. The coronavirus pandemic is not a conspiracy. When on 11 March 2020 the WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic, there were more than 118,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in 114 countries. As of 25 May 2020, there are over 5.3 million confirmed cases globally, in addition to 342 thousand deaths. An updated situation report from WHO on the coronavirus pandemic can be found here. As for the claim that the 9/11 was a conspiracy to defame Muslims, this is not provided with any evidence. Read here and here the debunks of 9/11-related conspiracy theories. Read similar cases about the virus being a conspiracy claiming that the coronavirus pandemic is exaggerated in order to establish fascist hygiene dictatorships, that governments are exaggerating the death toll of the coronavirus and that ruling élites are spreading coronavirus panic in order to gain unlimited powers and to actively interfere in the economy.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 198
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 25/04/2020
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: China, Germany
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Conspiracy theory

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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Coronavirus epidemic prevented NATO deadly attack against Belarus

The coronavirus pandemic disrupted NATO aggressive plans camouflaged under Defender 2020 military exercises. It seems that NATO was planning a surprise military attack around the 75th anniversary of the WWII Victory Day. Without the epidemic, Belarusian cities and villages could already be on fire. On the other hand, it can also be that instead of military exercises NATO actually planned the spread of coronavirus as a biological weapon. Instead of protection and peace, NATO military spread the coronavirus infection in the Baltic states and Norway. First “zero patient” in Latvia was a NATO soldier. NATO military may also be behind the spread of coronavirus in South Korea. It cannot be ruled out that they also brought COVID-19 to the United States. Generally, the NATO military is the main transmitter of coronavirus. Russia and Belarus have so few coronavirus cases because NATO military is not stationed on their territories. The authorities of Belarus need to investigate who actually brought coronavirus infection into the country, whether the pro-NATO Belarusian opposition was implicated.

Disproof

The publication puts forward a number of coronavirus-related and Defender2020-related conspiracies aimed to discredit the NATO and the Belarusian opposition. It is consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin propaganda narratives about alleged Western aggressiveness towards Belarus and Russia, the coronavirus as West's / NATO's biological weapon, and the Belarusian opposition as destructive West-financed group. NATO did not have any attack plans against Belarus as alleged. NATO’s secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg affirmed that Defender Europe 2020 was not directed against any particular country. Its purpose was to practice the rapid deployment of large-scale forces across the Atlantic into Europe, demonstrating the US military’s ability to quickly send a massive contingent to support NATO and respond to any crisis. In response to the current outbreak of the COVID-19 virus and guidance by the United States Secretary of Defence, the exercise was modified in size and scope. A "zero patient" in Latvia was not a NATO soldier as alleged. It was reported that the first positive-tested individual was female who travelled from Milan to Munich and then flew to Riga on 29 February. Speculations about NATO soldiers as the main cause of the coronavirus spread in South Korea, Norway, US, and the Baltic states are ungrounded. Generally, there is no evidence of the deliberate spread of the virus by NATO, as the article suggests. Covid-19 has been detected in virtually all countries in all continents. There is no evidence of the deliberate spread of the virus in Italy, China or any other country, as the article suggests. The claim that Belarus and Russia have few coronavirus cases because of the absence of NATO military on their territory is fake. In fact, as of 30 April, Belarus and Russia have more identified coronavirus cases, both in absolute and relative terms, than many NATO countries including neighbouring Lithuania, Latvia, and Poland. Read earlier disinformation cases alleging that COVID-19 reached NATO and disrupted its anti-Russian plans, that the virus was brought to Italy by NATO's secret terrorist network, that NATO prepares for big war with Russia in line with Hitler's attack directions, that the Belarusian opposition plans a genocide with Soros-funded coronavirus-infected test tubes, and that pro-Western opposition in Belarus prepares 'kill lists' and a genocide.

Ukraine lost territorial integrity after Zelenskyy signed the land market law

Zelenskyy has no right to talk about the territorial integrity of Ukraine after he signed the land market opening law. The Ukrainian government continues to destroy systematically the formerly sovereign state. The physical extermination of their people, financial slavery, and now the sale of land are far from all the methods that the Kyiv regime is capable of.

Disproof

This is a recurrent narrative aimed to discredit Ukrainian statehood. The claim that the adoption of the law on the land market is an illustration of foreign control and loss of territorial integrity for Ukraine is false. The law states that only Ukrainian citizens and companies registered in Ukraine and under Ukrainian law will be eligible to buy agricultural land in Ukraine. Other restrictions are prescribed by the law. Also, the Association Council welcomed the official Kyiv steps to open the land market, which "should be based on the rule of law and the principles of sustainability, transparency, fairness and inclusiveness."

WHO impedes the use of cheap, accessible drugs that can effectively cure COVID-19

Dr. Didier Raoult, the famous French infectious disease specialist, creator and director of the Mediterranean University-Clinical Institute of Infectious Diseases, used chloroquine for treatment. The results of Dr. Raoult and his institute were outstanding: by the end of March, only 10 of the 2,400 people who received treatment at his institute had died. [—] For 80 years, chloroquine has been a cheap, common, safe generic. And only when it turned out that the medicine was priced at 4 cents, it was established that it couldn’t cure COVID-19 because it would potentially be too cheap and accessible. Another promising drug was remdesivir, an Ebola drug developed by Gilead Sciences. And what? On April 23rd, WHO “accidentally” posted on its website test results that showed that remdesivir was no good.

Disproof

This is part of the pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign around the coronavirus, and specifically its efforts to spread false or misleading health information related to COVID-19, its prevention, and its treatment. See similar false claims like that COVID-19 can be cured with saline solution, that treatment for COVID-19 will lead to forced vaccination, and that handwashing is useless for preventing the spread of the virus. False and misleading health claims are the most dangerous and irresponsible aspect of coronavirus-related disinformation, as they can have a direct impact on people’s health and even their lives. According to the World Health Organisation, “no pharmaceutical products have yet been shown to be safe and effective for the treatment of COVID-19.” In a statement, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “We call on individuals and countries to refrain from using therapeutics that have not been demonstrated to be effective in the treatment of COVID-19. The history of medicine is strewn with examples of drugs that worked on paper, or in a test tube, but didn't work in humans or were actually harmful. We must follow the evidence. There are no short-cuts.” On 20 March, the WHO announced a major global trial called SOLIDARITY to test four potential treatments for COVID-19, including the malaria medications chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine. The SOLIDARITY trial will involve 45 countries and is designed to “dramatically cut the time needed to generate robust evidence about what drugs work.” Chloroquine has recently garnered public attention after a small study of 36 COVID-19 patients in France demonstrated initially promising results; however, infectious disease experts have said the findings are not conclusive and require further study. Importantly, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine can have serious side effects, especially at high doses or when combined with other medicines. They should not be used without a prescription and without medical supervision. Experts and health authorities, including the WHO and the European Medicine Agency, have also expressed concern that premature use of these drugs for COVID-19 may create dangerous shortages for patients who need them for other serious conditions, including lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. The WHO advises against “unnecessary stockpiling and the creation of shortages of approved medicines that are required to treat other diseases”. See the WHO’s mythbusting page about false COVID-19 health advice for more information.