Disinfo: Coronavirus could have been produced by the US as a biological weapon

Summary

The coronavirus could have been produced by the US as a biological weapon or could have been transmitted to the Chinese population in Wuhan by animals such as bats or anteaters. However, US President Donald Trump’s emphasis on imposing further sanctions on Iran and on strikes against Iraq’s Hashd al Shaabi popular forces indicates that the coronavirus epidemic could have been a previously planned conspiracy. An Iranian proverb states that nothing can be kept secret forever.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory. No evidence is presented to support the article’s claims.

Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about COVID-19 that claims that the virus was created by the US as a biological weapon to use against adversaries such as China, Iran and/ or Russia.

The current coronavirus (2019-nCoV) comes from a family of viruses that include other viruses such as SARS and MERS. It was first reported in the Chinese city of Wuhan in central China and has been rapidly spreading, with new cases being reported in the Asian-Pacific region a well as Europe, North America and the Middle East.

The World Health Organisation is working with Chinese authorities and global experts to learn more about the virus. There is no evidence to suggest it was developed or disseminated artificially.

Read similar disinformation cases claiming that the US is using the coronavirus as a biological weapon against China and Iran, and that coronavirus could be a US biological attack that targeted first China, then Iran.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 193
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 08/04/2020
  • Language/target audience: Italian
  • Country: China, Iran, US
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Conspiracy theory, Biological weapons, Conspiracy

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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Italy is alone defending itself from coronavirus, without any help from hypocritical EU

Italy is forced to defend itself from the coronavirus pandemic by itself, without any help from other EU member states. The unprecedented assistance given to Italy by China, Russia and Cuba showed the world the real meaning of solidarity, in contrast to Europe’s hypocritical values. Many Italian politicians, and not only anti-EU ones, have begun discussing the possibility of an “Italexit”, a withdrawal of Italy from the EU.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative claiming that the EU and other EU countries have not shown any solidarity towards Italy in its fight against the coronavirus, while Russia, China and Cuba have shown such solidarity.

This message is consistent with the narrative that the EU is failing to cope with the COVID-19 crisis and is disintegrating as a result. This narrative of EU failure and lack of EU solidarity is trending after the delivery of Russian aid to Italy.

George Soros forces EU civil servants to implement his policies

Some non-Governmental organisations influence the leadership structures of the EU, particularly the organisations of George Soros. Soros invests significant resources in the EU’s structures, which force EU civil servants to implement his policies.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin conspiracy about George Soros.The Open Society Foundation supports independent groups working for justice, democratic governance, and human rights worldwide. The statement that Soros forces EU civil servants to implement his policies through the investment of significant resources in the EU's structures is a conspiracy theory.

Soros has been accused (without evidence) of a wide range of sins such as destabilising Europeorganising colour revolutionsattacking churches and traditional values as well as sponsoring the film "Joker" as a tutorial for colour revolutions.

EU is suffering from the sanctions against Russia

Sanctions against Russia are speeding up the suffering of the European economy.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Western sanctions on Russia claiming that they have backfired. Since March 2014, the EU has progressively imposed restrictive measures against Russia. The measures were adopted in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and the deliberate destabilisation of Ukraine.

According to research into the effect of sanctions, the cumulative export loss to Russia during 2014-2018 is estimated at EUR 30 billion (about -0.2% of EU’s GDP in 2018), incurred largely during 2014-2016, as EU exports to Russia recovered in 2017. While these sanctions do effect EU's economy, the EU-wide impacts of the export losses are estimated at less than 0.2% of total value-added and employment.