Disinfo: Totalitarian countries are more effective at fighting coronavirus

Summary

As practice shows, totalitarian regimes show greater efficiency in fighting the coronavirus. As the epidemic began, China fought very harshly and quickly overcame the crisis. Now strict restrictions are put in place for entering the country [China] so that the virus does not reenter it from European countries, where the number of infected people increases daily.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative that democracy is not effective in fighting coronavirus. See another similar case here on how Europe's freedom and democracy are preventing it from fighting the virus. This narrative is in conflict with earlier claims that Western countries are not democracies, and are controlled by globalist elites and shadowy government and not the people.

Moreover, authoritarian/ totalitarian regimes, which tend to control and manipulate information and to limit the freedom of doctors and scientists to engage in international cooperation, are often an obstacle to the timely detection and containment of epidemic outbreaks.

A clear example is China’s deliberate cover-up of the early days of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan. The regime suppressed information about the virus and allowed it to spread unchecked in the crucial early days and weeks. The Chinese government censored and detained those doctors and whistleblowers who attempted to sound the alarm and warn their fellow citizens when they understood the gravity of the coronavirus threat.

Furthermore, the real antidote to the coronavirus pandemic (and to future epidemic outbreaks) is not to revert to totalitarianism and “closed societies” but to develop a global response.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue190
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 31/03/2020
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: EU, China
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Western values, Democracy

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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EU refused to help Italy with coronavirus

The European Union refused to provide assistance to Italy in the fight against coronavirus, instead, this was done by Russia. European officials actively discouraged Russian aid for Italy. Europe is no longer united.

Disproof

Baseless speculation, consistent with a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the imminent collapse of the EU.

France has donated 1 million masks to Italy, Germany has donated 7 tons of masks and other protective equipment, helping save lives. Hospitals across Germany are treating critically ill patients from Italy and France, making their own intensive care beds available for Italian and French citizens. Germany has delivered 300 ventilators to Italy. Austria transported 1.5 million masks to Italy, while Czechia offered 10,000 protective suits.

USAID is a CIA-affiliated terror group that created the coronavirus

With the accusation against China, all that is needed is for China to be tied, in this case for supplying a virus, to a dangerous terror group, to a global pandemic.

The terror group, as we discovered was the USAID, a CIA affiliate that used the Wuhan virus to create something frightening at the University of North Carolina, not in Wuhan.

Disproof

This is a conspiracy theory, presented with no evidence to support the claim that the coronavirus was created in the USA. This is part of the Kremlin's ongoing coronavirus disinformation campaign and is based on recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about biological weapons.

The World Health Organisation has concluded that the virus first appeared in the Chinese province of Hubei. The novel coronavirus "2019-nCoV” comes from a family of viruses originating in animals that includes others such as SARS and MERS. There is no evidence to suggest it was developed artificially in a laboratory as a weapon of mass destruction. A group of public health scientists have condemned rumours and conspiracy theories about the origin of coronavirus outbreak: "We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin." The authors of The Lancet statement note that scientists from several countries who have studied 2019-nCoV “overwhelmingly conclude that this coronavirus originated in wildlife, just like many other viruses that have recently emerged in humans."

UK cancels health insurance of Russian residents

The Russian Foreign Ministry revealed the request of some wealthy Russians whose children live in London, requiring that Russia should interfere to return their children to the country after Britain cancelled their health insurance and evaded its obligations towards them.

For many years, the West has deceived Russian citizens, who chose not to support their country and left to do business abroad, and now they are seeking to return to their homeland.

Disproof

A claim provided with no evidence. The UK health care provider, the National Health Service (NHS), is one of the oldest universal healthcare systems in the world, and every official resident of the UK enjoys its free and universal coverage regardless of their nationality.

According to the website of an independent insurance broker from the UK, existing health insurance policies remain valid during the pandemic. Read further debunking on The Insider.