Disinfo: All European doors were closed to Italy

Summary

At a time of distress, Italy fell under an embargo as if it were facing leprosy and all European doors were closed.

Disproof

A pro-Kremlin narrative consistent with disinformation narrative that the EU is collapsing as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

The COVID-19 outbreak challenged EU’s response capabilities, but a claim that "EU has done nothing" is false.

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 EUR 37 billion Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative to provide liquidity to small businesses and the health care sector.

The EU has also created the first-ever stockpile of medical equipment, while German hospitals took Italian patients, and masks were being sent to Italian doctors from France and Austria and much more.

Moreover, in the current exceptional situation, many EU Member States introduced temporary border controls to slow the spread of coronavirus, which adhere to the Schengen border code, but the EU Commission is ensuring that EU-wide supply chains continue to operate and that flow of goods and key services continues around the clock. The introduction of ‘green lanes’ will allow all freight vehicles to cross internal Schengen borders within 15 minutes. 

Read more about the EU's response here and here. For similar cases, see here, here, and here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 191
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 31/03/2020
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: EU, Italy
  • Keywords: coronavirus, EU disintegration, European Union

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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EU is ruled by an American NATO General

The real executive ruler of the European nation (European Union) is the American administration.

The clear evidence of such is that 22 of the 26 countries are in the NATO military system, which is governed by an American general named by the American President himself.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the US presence in Europe, portraying Europe as a vassal of the USA and trying to undermine the sovereignty of European countries. 

The European Union was created by the voluntary initiative of European nations. Its citizens are directly represented in the European Parliament and Member States are represented in the European Council and the Council of the EU. The United States of America is not part of these institutions. The US had no role in the creation of the EU and has no say in its decisions.

We have nothing to lose by using hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19

There [is] a pandemic going on, with billions of people locked in their homes and all business grinding to a halt across the globe, over apocalyptic predictions of hospitals brimming with corpses due to this coronavirus.

Should any kind of treatment – especially a drug that has been used safely for decades to treat something else, with side effects meticulously documented – be so cavalierly rejected, under the circumstances? Do “experts” really think the world has the luxury of waiting for months or even years for their controlled lab studies?

To ask these questions is to answer them, yet no one seems to bother. Nor is this sort of selective blindness endemic to France; across the Atlantic, the mainstream media raised their voices in unison against chloroquine after US President Donald Trump brought it up as a possible treatment – apparently referring to Dr. Raoult’s work.

Dr. Raoult seems to believe [that hydroxychloroquine works on Covid-19], and he’s not alone. In the absence of better solutions – and locking billions of people in their homes indefinitely is not one – don’t we owe humanity to at least try? What do we have to lose?

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.

In an egregious display of irresponsibility, this article argues that a treatment for another disease – which has not been tested for use against COVID-19 and is not recommended by health authorities, including the WHO and the European Medicine Agency – should be made available to the public without further research or testing. The article actively tries to cast doubt on medical and scientific expertise, asking leading questions like “Do ‘experts’ really think the world has the luxury of waiting for months or even years for their controlled lab studies?” and “In the absence of better solutions…don’t we owe humanity to at least try? What do we have to lose?”

Poland is only capable of stopping Russian planes rushing to aid Italy

In Poland, known for its anti-Russian mood, a quiet tantrum ripens. There, they understand better than everyone else the irreversibility of the changes in Europe. And the maximum that this country is capable to do, is not to give an air corridor to the Russian planes rushing to aid Italy suffocating from a lack of artificial lung ventilation apparatus.

 

Disproof

This message is part of the Kremlin’s disinformation campaign around the Coronavirus epidemic, as well as accusing Poland of being Russophobic. It promotes a narrative of the EU's failing efforts in the fight with the epidemic and the successful Russian steps against the spread of the Coronavirus.

The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs made a statement regarding the alleged refusal of Poland to allow Russian transport planes delivering aid to Italy to cross its airspace. Poland called these accusations absurd and fake – the Russian Ambassador to Warsaw, Sergey Andreyev, received an official protest of Poland about the spread of this fake news by a Russian Senator. For a more detailed debunk see Polygraph.