Disinfo: The campaign predicting hundreds of thousands of deaths by COVID-19 is a lie

Summary

Do not let yourself be misled by the fear campaign, pointing to a Worldwide coronavirus calamity with repeated “predictions” that hundreds of thousands of people are going to die.

These are boldface lies. [—]

The unspoken truth is that the novel coronavirus provides a pretext to powerful financial interests and corrupt politicians to trigger the entire World into a spiral of  mass unemployment, bankruptcy, extreme poverty and despair.

This is the true picture of what is happening. “Planet Lockdown” is an encroachment on civil liberties. Entire national economies are in jeopardy. In some countries martial law has been declared.

Disproof

An unfounded conspiracy theory, sharing a recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative about "secret elites" controlling world leaders.

The number of people, sick with COVID-19 has surpassed 1 million; more than 60.000 people have died (5 April). See latest situation report from the WHO here.

See more examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation about coronavirus here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 191
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 06/04/2020
  • Language/target audience: English
  • Country: US
  • 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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Moscow Mayor is connected to neo-liberal circles and supports the hysteria over the COVID-19

[Moscow mayor Sergey] Sobyanin has insisted from the very beginning that strict quarantine must introduced in the capital and has been one of the main supporters of the media hysteria over the COVID-19 threat. Many saw it as a kind of political move to strengthen the power of the circles that include such persons as Moscow major Sergey Sobyanin that includes such controversial persons as Herman Gref (CEO of Sberbank of Russia), Elvira Nabiullina (President of the Central Bank of Russia). This circle is well known for its pro-Western, neo-liberal views and ties with the global elites.

Disproof

An unfounded conspiracy theory, sharing a recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative about "secret elites".

The Mayor of Moscow imposed  increasingly tighter quarantine measures as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Moscow surpassed 1000, on the 30th of March 2020.  As of April 6th, 2020 there were over 6000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Russia.

EU findings on Russian disinformation about COVID-19 are Russophobia

Members of the European Parliament said that Russia is conducting a disinformation campaign about COVID-19. However, they do not refer to any specific case of the alleged disinformation. MEPs simply quote the so-called findings of the EU’s East StratCom Task Force and note that these findings reflect their views. Quarantine in the European Parliament cannot defeat the incurable disease, i.e. Russophobia. In this situation, only Russia and China are helping Italy, which has become the centre of the fight against coronavirus in Europe.

Disproof

The claim consists of multiple pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives. Also consistent with the narrative on Russophobia.

The EEAS issued a special report on narratives and disinformation around the COVID-19 pandemic, counting at least 150 cases of pro-Kremlin disinformation on novel coronavirus. The cases are public and can be accessed here in the EU vs Disinfo database.

The West cannot resolve the coronavirus crisis without Russian help

The West cannot resolve the coronavirus crisis without Russian help. China set the standard in how they washed their streets and the way they fought this coronavirus in public places. It turned out that the West simply could not do anything like that. For example, in Bergamo, Russian help was required to achieve the same results.

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.

EU Member States are helping each other in this crisis; for example, German hospitals offered to treat critical coronavirus patients from France and Italy, as well as sending ventilators to Spain, whilst the Czech Republic sent masks to Italy.