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 European Commission has approved a €50 million Italian aid scheme to support the production and supply of medical devices, as well as to help Italy provide the necessary medical treatment to those infected. On March 18, the European Union also received a Chinese aid package, including masks and 50,000 testing kits that were fully allocated to Italy, as Rome faces the most urgent needs among member states in the coronavirus crisis. On March 13, the European Union proposed a Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative, envisaging EUR 835 million for Italy. On March 26, the European Parliament unanimously approved the initiative. More on the EU's support can be read here.

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. As for the disinfection of public places, EU countries began the disinfection in late February. On 18 February, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control issued "Interim guidance for environmental cleaning in non-healthcare facilities exposed to SARS-CoV-2". You can see how the streets were disinfected in Italy in early March here. Read further information about the EU's collective measures to fight coronavirus disinformation.