Disinfo: Washington is using its anti-Russian methods against China to cover the role of US labs in the coronavirus outbreak

Summary

Western media turned into an anti-Russian and anti-Chinese propaganda machine: the Pulitzer Prize 2020 was awarded to Reuters agency for its photographic coverage of the Hong Kong protests against the Chinese government and to The New York Times’ reports on the repression against Muslims in China. Currently Washington is starting to implement the same anti-Russian methods to impose its hegemony against China after realising the growing economic, financial and geopolitical potential of this country, and is accusing it not only of violating trade agreements and having an expansionist policy but of being responsible for the spread of Covid-19 throughout the world. With this, Trump is trying to cover the role of the US and its BSL-4 labs in spreading coronavirus around the planet.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory advancing several recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about secret labs, COVID-19 pandemic, Russophobia and the West.

Contrary to the claim, the publication of stories on the Hong Kong protests and China’s repression of Muslims are not an anti-Chinese move but an exercise of press freedom.

There is no evidence that the coronavirus (COVID-19) is man-made or created in laboratories. COVID-19 comes from a family of viruses that include the common cold and viruses such as SARS and MERS. Coronaviruses are known to circulate in mammals and birds, and scientists have already suggested that COVID-19 originally came from bats. One of the previous coronaviruses that caused severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, spread from bats to civet cats to humans.

A group of 27 prominent public health scientists have condemned rumours and conspiracy theories about the origin of the 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 SARS-CoV-2, “overwhelmingly conclude that this coronavirus originated in wildlife," just like many other viruses that have recently emerged in humans. "Conspiracy theories do nothing but create fear, rumours and prejudice that jeopardise our global collaboration in the fight against this virus," the statement says.

See other examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about China, such as claims alleging that the Hong Kong protests were organised by the US to destabilise the country, that US military planners recommended an amplified psychological war against China, that coronavirus may be NATO's latest step in its containment strategy against Beijing, that some in the US want to prevent that China explains its success in fighting the pandemic, or that when the Covid-19 outbreak began in Wuhan, Washington celebrated it with champagne.

This disinformation message appeared in the same article as the claim that "Alarmed about its resurgence after Crimea's reincorporation, the US turned against Russia".

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 202
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 05/06/2020
  • Language/target audience: Spanish, Castilian
  • Country: China, Russia, US
  • Keywords: coronavirus, laboratory, Protest, Anti-Russian, Human rights
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Alarmed about its resurgence after Crimea’s reincorporation, the US turned against Russia

As soon as Washington realised the resurgence of Russia, both nationally and internationally, especially after the reincorporation of Crimea in 2014, it didn’t waste a minute to start a demonisation campaign against Moscow and its leader Vladimir Putin, accusing him of aiming to weaken the US and divide its society. Besides sanctions and military deployments along Russia’s borders, the anti-Russian propaganda was reinforced by the State Department, the CIA and the Pentagon, through Hollywood and other means such as the Pulitzer Prize, awarded both in 2017 and 2020 to anti-Russian stories in The New York Times. The awarded journalists accused Russia, using anonymous sources and without any evidence, of killings abroad, destabilisation operations in Europe, manipulating the US elections in 2016, the poisoning of Bulgarian citizen Emilian Gebrev by a GRU unit, diamond trafficking in the Central African Republic and destroying four hospitals in Syria.

Disproof

This is part of a recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative to portray Russia as a victim of US aggression against its sovereignty, which Moscow uses to justify its illicit activities on grounds of “defence” and self-preservation. In this case, the narrative goes, Crimea’s illegal annexation is portrayed as a legitimate reincorporation to Russia, and The New York Times’ stories describing illegal actions by Vladimir Putin’s regime as ‘Russophobic’.

See other examples of this disinformation narrative about Russia as a victim of the West, such as claims about NATO military exercises as acts of war against Russia; alleged plans to encircle Russia or to wage war against it; the supposed anti-Russian bias of international institutions - be it the OPCW, the World Anti-Doping Agency or the United Nations - which always falsely accuse Russia; the alleged Russophobia of the EU; the affirmation that it is NATO and not the Kremlin who is involved in the Donbas conflict; or denials that Russia had any role in the poisoning of Sergey Skripal or the downing of MH17, that it interfered in other countries’ elections or that it is waging a disinformation campaign on COVID-19.

The violent anti-racist protests and revolts in the US are supported and financed by transnational corporations

The anti-racist protests in the US have morphed into violent revolts and pogroms.  Many leading transnational corporations are financing the revolts and supporting looters and protesters. The nature of current revolts in the US are similar coups d’état. Global capital wants to get rid of whatever state protectionism is left, even in the US, and this is why they are now supporting the revolts and organised violence in America. This is a characteristic of advanced globalisation, when global corporations feel that they are so rich and powerful that they can challenge national governments. The heads of these corporations have forgotten that, historically, many capitalists who have financed revolutions and coups d’états were removed from the picture later on when they were no longer needed.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative claiming that the racial justice protests in the US are dominated by violent groups, which, in turn, are directed, supported and financed by powerful élites, such as George Soros, leaders of the Democratic Party and/or global corporations.

There is no evidence to support the article’s conspiracy theory that racial justice protests in the US are funded and organised by transnational corporations.

Flu vaccine are the main reason for COVID-19

In Europe, most of the victims who died from COVID-19 were previously vaccinated against the regular flu, and now we are hearing from inside hospitals (in Italy) that this vaccine was the main reason that helped spread and amplify this pandemic.

Disproof

Disinformation related to the origins of the COVID-19 Coronavirus, and in this case promoting anti-vaccine messaging, which is a recurring element of pro-Kremlin disinformation.

Flu vaccines are derived from influenza viruses. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu shots (given with a needle) are made in two ways. The first is by using flu viruses that have been ‘inactivated’ (killed) and are therefore are not infectious. The second is by using a single gene from a flu virus (as opposed to the full virus) in order to produce an immune response without causing infection.