Disinfo: US Mayor admitted having COVID-19 in November

Summary

The mayor of an American city admitted to being infected with the coronavirus last November after his virus antibody test turned out to be positive. That was last November, two months before the first infection in China.

Disproof

Recurring misinformation related to the 2019-nCoV coronavirus. 

New Jersey’s Belleville Mayor Michael Melham believes he caught the novel coronavirus in November, he claimed he caught the virus at a convention, but his doctor back then had diagnosed him with a bad case of the flu. He didn’t have a proper COVID-19 test, but a blood test revealed he had Coronavirus antibodies that suggest but do not confirm that he had a type of coronavirus, which shouldn't necessarily be the COVID-19 virus.

Moreover, the majority of antibody tests in the US market have yet to be approved by the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and doctors have warned those taking them to proceed with caution and take the results with a grain of salt. Further, the UK’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that no G7 country has yet developed an antibody test that could say with certainty whether a person who recovered from coronavirus was immune.

EUvsDisinfo database has a long set of disinformation cases on coronavirus, such as claims that Bill Gates and George Soros are sponsoring the Wuhan coronavirus, that it is a UKUS or NATO creation and Americans have its cure, that it is an artificial disease which specifically targets Chinese DNA, that it is a pretext to gain control of the world’s population, that it was created with economic goals while big pharma companies are spreading panic for their own profits, that it is a biological weapon against Russia and China, that it will wipe out Ukraine’s population in a few days or that it was predicted by Nostradamus and others.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 198
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 14/05/2020
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: China, US
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Conspiracy theory, 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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The West accuses Russia of spreading disinformation without evidence

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that Russia and China are spreading disinformation to increase influence among NATO countries and the European Union and to destabilise these countries in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. At the same time, Stoltenberg did not cite specific examples of disinformation from Russia and China. According to him, Russia has turned the mission into a propaganda operation. However, not only the Western Media is engaged in speculation on the topic of coronavirus. Often the US officials also practice unproven accusations and dissemination of misinformation, covering up their failure to fight the infection.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative denying that any Russian media have been involved in spreading disinformation about the coronavirus and aiming to portray any outside criticism of Russia as a symptom of "Russophobia".

The European External Action Service has issued special reports listing and detailing disinformation narratives related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of individual cases is approaching 500 (as of 18 May 2020), and each debunk can be accessed through the EUvsDisinfo database.

Paedophilia is legalised in Armenia

Paedophilia is legalised. In fact, a document was adopted, that forces the education system from an early age to teach defilement to children. Including introducing them to the LGBT. For the first time in our legislation, the category of sexual orientation is fixed. That is, LGBT people and other perverts will have separate legal protection.

Disproof

This disinformation message is consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about Western moral decay, as well as about imposing on countries international conventions and laws that destroy the moral foundations of traditional societies.

Armenian Parliament has ratified the Council of Europe Convention on Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, also known as “the Lanzarote Convention”. The Convention requires criminalisation of all kinds of sexual offences against children. It sets out that states in Europe, and beyond, shall adopt specific legislation and take measures to prevent sexual violence, to protect child victims and to prosecute perpetrators. Armenia has signed the convention in 2010.

A junta took power in Ukraine after 2013-2014 revolution

These militants [Euromaidan participants] know well that without them, without their criminal actions to seize power by force, there would be no Poroshenko or Turchinov, who are correctly called the junta. They gained legitimacy later, already in a destroyed and torn country, where fascists from the streets took power. “The street” understands this perfectly. The militants have reasons to consider themselves a protected caste because they are responsible for the legitimacy of this regime, which took power after the February 2014 events.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative painting the 2013-14 protests in Kyiv as a coup that brought to power a fascist regime.

Ukraine is not governed by a junta. Democratic, competitive and generally well-organised presidential and parliamentary elections were held in 2014 and local elections in 2015. The EU welcomed this progress. The OSCE, which observed all these elections on the ground, characterised the presidential elections as showing the "clear resolve of the authorities to hold what was a genuine election largely in line with international commitments and with a respect for fundamental freedoms."