Disinfo: The US owns the coronavirus and its cure

Summary

Coronavirus is an American product par excellence, according to the registry of inventions submitted in 2015, which was approved in 2018.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the US and about the coronavirus.

The claim that the United States has patented and owns the coronavirus goes back to viral incorrect claims that the virus, along with its vaccine is owned by the Pirbright Institute (a research institute in the UK), was funded by the American Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The institute works to prevent viral diseases of livestock. The Pirbright Institute clarified that they don’t work with human coronaviruses and that a patent that they hold is unrelated to the current coronavirus linked to Wuhan.

The patent that the story links to - No. 10,130,701 - is for a mutated form of avian infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), a different coronavirus that infects poultry, but not people. That patent was filed by the Pirbright Institute, but not funded by the Gates Foundation, and the mutations were created to weaken the virus so that it could be used as a vaccine to protect chickens from IBV.

Matthew Frieman, a coronavirus researcher at the University of Maryland, told FactCheck.org that the patent has nothing to do with the new 2019-nCoV virus.

The American Centre for Disease Control and Prevention explains that the name of new coronavirus comes from the crown, or corona-like appearance of infective viruses when seen under a microscope. The CDC told the Associated Press in 2003 that the agency was claiming ownership of a patent related to a virus that causes SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome, a disease that spread to dozens of countries in 2003, in result of which more than 8,000 people got ill and 774 people died), in order to ensure access and to prevent others from controlling the technology.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 182
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 01/02/2020
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: China, US
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Conspiracy theory, Virus / bacteria threat, Bill Gates, Biological weapons, Conspiracy
  • Outlet: almayadeen, katehon, annabaa, azzaman, al-binaa, shaamtimes, aleshraq, dampress, syrianownews, almajd, darhaya, arabitoday, alderaah-news, news-sinaa, elsob7, egysaudi, alsharqtimes,
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Zelenskyy falsifying history by claiming USSR had role in starting WWII

Since the end of the second world war, there have never been such explicit, arrogant and shameless attempts to rewrite the history of the Second World War as, for instance,  Kyiv’s accusations that the Soviet Union had a role in starting WWII.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative distorting the events of the Second World War.

By signing the non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany in August 1939, the Soviet Union became complicit in the breakout of WWII. Following the conclusion of the agreement, the two dictatorships would remain allies for the next 22 months. The deal was accompanied by a secret supplementary protocol on the delimitation of areas of mutual interest in Eastern Europe. In particular, Hitler and Stalin agreed to divide Poland. The agreement also indicated that the Baltic states of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, as well as Bessarabia and Finland, also belonged to the respective areas of interest of Germany and the USSR.

White Helmets preparing new provocations to implicate Assad in chemical attacks

Militants and the remnants of the notorious White Helmets group are planning new provocations in Syria with the goal of accusing Damascus of using chemical weapons against the civilian population.

In the past, the White Helmets have been spotted both working with terrorist organisations and staging false flag chemical attacks.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin conspiracy theory painting the White Helmets as terrorists and shifting blame for chemical attacks in Syria away from Damascus.

The claim is made without evidence and follows the pattern of unsubstantiated accusations regarding the White Helmets' complicity in chemical attacks in Syria. Available evidence on such attacks has yet to link a single incident to any other party than the Assad regime.

Europe has always been trying to weaken Russia

All of Europe is now trying to weaken Russia. The existence of Russia today embarrasses Europe, just as it was in the 19th and 18th centuries. Russia has always been uncomfortable for Europe. The larger Russia was, the greater the anti-Russian and Russophobic sentiments were.

Disproof

No evidence given. This is a conspiracy theory, consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about Russophobia and Western belligerence towards Russia.

Europe does not want to deliberately weaken or destroy Russia as claimed by some Russian propagandists. European foreign policy is built on the principles of international law. Russia was one of the "key partners" of the EU until March 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea. This, together with the Russia-backed war in the Eastern Ukraine, has severely affected bilateral relations. As a result, some of the policy dialogues and mechanisms of cooperation are frozen. Since March 2014, the EU has progressively imposed restrictive measures against Russia, in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and the deliberate destabilisation of Ukraine.