Disinfo: The EU left Italy face to face with an invisible and terrible enemy

Summary

Fifteen thousands Italian victims of COVID-19 is a factor that European officials must reckon with. Yes, and to repent for the fact that, in the midst of a virus attack, they left their ally face to face with an invisible and even more terrible enemy. Many European capitals are not at all eager to truly help the decimated Italian economy. Here, even the apologies of Ursula von der Leyen won’t help. EU flags are migrating from the offices of Italian deputies into closets.

Disproof

Speculative claim about "abandoned Italy" and that the EU left Italy alone to fight coronavirus. This claim exploits the coronavirus pandemic to push a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the West's crumbling solidarity. While Russia has sent a military team to Italy, there are numerous examples of solidarity in the Western world, including among the EU and individual Member States as follows.

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 18th, the European Union also received a Chinese aid package, including masks and 50,000 testing kits that were fully allocated to Italy, as Rome faced the most urgent needs among member states in the coronavirus crisis. On March 13th, the European Union proposed a Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative, envisaging EUR 835 million for Italy. On March 26th, the European Parliament unanimously approved the initiative.

Furthermore, the European Central Bank announced a 750 billion euro ($820 billion) asset purchase programme in an effort to help mitigate the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, as the death toll in Europe continues to rise. As part of the programme, investors will purchase Italian securities to help the country counter the serious risks of the coronavirus. Since the hospitals are overcrowded in Italy, Germany has started to accept coronavirus patients from this harder-hit country.The report on the comprehensive economic policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic can be found here. Read more about the EU's response here and here.

The claim about EU flags is often being used in Russian Media. For a more detailed report see the BBC's Russian service, where it is explained that one Italian MP removed the EU flag from his office.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 192
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 04/04/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: EU, Italy
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Ursula von der Leyen, Euro-scepticism, EU disintegration, European Union
see more

The coronavirus pandemic may be used to introduce absolute social control

It gets even sexier when absolute social control is promoted as an innocent vaccine. ID2020 is self-described as a benign alliance of “public-private partners”. Essentially, it is an electronic ID platform based on generalized vaccination. And its starts at birth; newborns will be provided with a “portable and persistent biometrically-linked digital identity.” GAVI, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, pledges to “protect people’s health “ and provide “immunization for all”. Top partners and sponsors, apart from the WHO, include, predictably, Big Pharma. At the ID2020 Alliance summit last September in New York, it was decided that the “Rising to the Good ID Challenge” program would be launched in 2020. That was confirmed by the World Economic Forum (WEF) this past January in Davos. The digital identity will be tested with the government of Bangladesh. That poses a serious question: was ID2020 timed to coincide with what a crucial sponsor, the WHO, qualified as a pandemic? Or was a pandemic absolutely crucial to justify the launch of ID2020?

Disproof

An unfounded conspiracy theory, sharing a recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative about "secret elites" controlling world leaders. GAVI is a is a public–private global health partnership committed to increasing access to immunisation in poor countries. Among the founders are the World Health Organisation, The International Monetary Fund and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. See related pro-Kremlin disinformation cases about the coronavirus.

Zinc could help kill coronavirus

Food products that contain large amounts of zinc are necessary to activate the so-called killer cells in the body, these cells are tasked with killing other cells infected with the virus (coronavirus).

Disproof

There is no medical evidence to support the claim that zinc could help against catching the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

Zinc is a nutrient that helps your immune system fight off infection. Too much of zinc is toxic and may cause copper deficiency, anaemia and damage to the nervous system.