Disinfo: The coronavirus epidemic shows the EU’s complete inability to act

Summary

The epidemic has shown the complete inability of the EU bureaucracy to take action under critical circumstances. All responsibility has been placed on national authorities.

The question arises whether the epidemic will last long enough for Europe to realise that it does not need the EU after all.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative alleging the EU's incompetence and failure to act amid the coronavirus crisis, and suggesting that the EU will disintegrate as a result. It is in line with well-established pro-Kremlin disinformation efforts to undermine and delegitimise the EU.

The European Union is supporting Member States in addressing the crisis and has adopted measure to mitigate the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.

To support scientific research into COVID-19, the European Commission earmarked 47.5 million EUR for shortlisted research projects that can improve epidemiology and public health, including preparedness and response to outbreaks. The EU has also created first ever stockpile of medical equipment. 

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

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 190
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 25/03/2020
  • Language/target audience: Czech
  • Country: EU
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Euro-scepticism, EU, EU disintegration, European Union, Europe

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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Ginger cures coronavirus

According to scientists, there are five products that best protect against coronavirus – first one on the list is ginger.

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Ginger has an allergy against coronavirus, specialists have concluded. It is necessary to chew ginger three times a day so as not to become infected with coronavirus. Ginger has a strengthening effect on the body. If you are sick, then ginger must be tied to your left arm and leg. It works for 24 hours and will overcome the virus as much as possible. It is been said that even the masks don’t help like ginger. 

Disproof

Examples of media sources and a post on Facebook repeating disinformation message about coronavirus. Read a similar case claiming that coronavirus can be cured with saline in 4 days.

At the moment, there is no cure against this strain of coronavirus. 

It is plausible that Europe won’t open its borders for the next 2 years

Some leaders claim that EU borders will hardly be opened in the next 2 years. The map of Europe is no longer a map of a fight against the common enemy, but a map of barriers.

Disproof

No evidence is given. Consistent with earlier pro-Kremlin disinformation message that the Schengen zone has collapsed.

The Schengen border code provides Member States with the capability of temporarily reintroducing border control at the internal borders in the event that a serious threat to public policy or internal security has been established:

COVID-19: “Washing hands is useless”

Hygienist criticises measures to protect against COVID-19 and states “Washing your hands is useless”.

Disproof

There is no medical evidence to support the claim that hand washing is useless.

The WHO, as well as all major international health organisations, the EU and its national health ministries, clearly emphasise that "regularly and thoroughly cleaning your hands or washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub demonstrably kills viruses on hands", which helps to contain the spreading of COVID-19.