Disinfo: New Zealand has evolved into a police state amid the COVID-19 fallout

Summary

New Zealand – the “land of the long white cloud” – has evolved into a police state overnight amid the fallout of Covid-19.

Disproof

This claim is a baseless conspiracy theory and recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the coronavirus crisis, attempting to portray democratic countries as failing to handle the pandemic and infringing on civil liberties. See similar cases that the COVID-19 outbreak is a pretext to gain control of the world's population, that COVID-19 is a political move to install hegemony, that the coronavirus is provoking the collapse of open society, and that democracy and freedom prevent Europe from fighting the virus effectively. New Zealand announced a month-long shutdown on March 25 to combat the spread of the coronavirus, invoking a national level-four alert that means people are instructed to stay home, schools and universities are shut, all non-essential businesses close, and air travel and public transport are only to be used to transport essential workers and freight. Essential services such as supermarkets, doctor's offices and pharmacies will remain open. This approach follows that adopted by many other countries around the world to limit the spread of COVID-19, based on the social distancing recommendations advocated by the World Health Organisation and other health authorities. New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been praised for the clarity and compassion of her handling of New Zealand's response to the coronavirus. The government has set up an official website on COVID-19 that is available here. A detailed overview of the measures and lockdown conditions is available here. Information about COVID-19 from New Zealand's Ministry of Health is available here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 191
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 31/03/2020
  • Language/target audience: English
  • Country: New Zealand
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Police, Conspiracy theory
see more

The EU has collapsed, countries are building borders

The European Union has collapsed. The countries are beginning to build borders: between Poland and Germany, between Germany and France, between the Czech Republic and Austria. [There are] borders, borders, borders…

Disproof

This claim exploits the coronavirus pandemic to push a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the EU's alleged imminent collapse. It also aims to pit EU member states against each other in an attempt to undermine European solidarity - another recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation tactic. There is no evidence to support the doomsday claim that the pandemic is resulting in the death or obsolescence of the EU. EU Member States are helping each other in this crisis; for example, German hospitals offering to treat critical coronavirus patients from France as well as taking in patients from Italy and the Czech Republic sending masks to Italy. Read more about the EU's response here and here.

EU's health and safety policies failed, EU feels the threat of losing its power

[…] The coronavirus epidemic marks the beginning of an era of crisis for pan-European identity and solidarity. National borders between the EU countries, closed by [state] governments, have become a clear illustration of [the EU’s] inefficiency and its failed health and safety policies. Therefore, all the bureaucratic structures of the EU, as well as political forces oriented towards the globalist agenda, feel a clear threat of losing their power.

Disproof

This claim exploits the coronavirus pandemic to push a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the EU's alleged imminent collapse. It also aims to pit EU member states against each other in an attempt to undermine European solidarity - another recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation tactic. There is no evidence to support the doomsday claim that the pandemic is resulting in the death or obsolescence of the EU. To cushion the blow to people’s livelihoods and the economy, the European Commission has adopted a comprehensive economic response to the outbreak, applied the full flexibility of the EU fiscal rules, has revised its State Aid rules and proposed to set up a €37 billion Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative to provide liquidity to small businesses and the health care sector. To provide all EU Member States with essential medical equipment, the EU has created the European stockpile of ventilators, masks and lab supplies. This medical and protective equipment is available to any EU country. The Commission will finance 90% of this stockpile through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism (RescEU). EU Member States are also helping each other in this crisis, for example German hospitals offering to treat critical coronavirus patients from France as well as taking in patients from Italy and the Czech Republic sending masks to Italy. Read more about the EU's response here and here.

Russian scientists created 3 drugs against coronavirus

Russian scientists created 3 drugs that could potentially be used against the coronavirus COVID-19 – Remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine/ chloroquine, and fortepren.

Disproof

None of the listed drugs was created in Russia. Remdevisir was developed by Gilead Sciences for Ebola virus. Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are oral prescription drugs that have been used for the treatment of malaria and were added as a recommended antiviral for the treatment of COVID-19 in China. Fortepren was created back in 2016 and has been recommended for patients with chronic recurrent herpes. CDC approved Remdevisir and Hydroxychloroquine/chloroquine as therapeutic options for COVID-19 patients. Read more disinformation cases about coronavirus here.