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Monday, May 4, 2020

There Is Another Pandemic in Europe, Fake News

Rp.pl/Rzeczpospolita: Russia and China carry out a disinformation campaign about pandemics on a massive scale - according to EU documents, seen by Rzeczpospolita's journalists.

According to the Rzeczpospolita: The report was prepared by Stratcom - a special unit of the European External Action Service, whose aim is to fight disinformation. The document shows that the media supported by the Kremlin are building a narrative in Europe that is to prove that the EU is not coping with the pandemic well and is on a verge of a break up. They are also spreading false information about the nature of the epidemic itself, which is intended to mislead and question the recommendations of scientists and authorities. They talk about miracle cures, such as vitamin C and the ineffectiveness of the recommended measures, such as thorough hand washing. 

Russian media were behind reports that 5G technology masts were to contribute to the spread of the epidemic, which resulted in infrastructure damage in several EU countries.

Rzeczpospolita also reports that according to Stratcom China is also spreading misinformation, but their narrative is different from Russian. Its main goal is aimed at showing that China was not the source of the pandemic. It also exaggerates the scale of China's assistance to other pandemic countries. That brings immediate results. Public opinion in Ukraine and Slovakia believes that China is helping them more than the EU. And in Italy, polls show for the first time that more people see China as a strategic partner than the US.

The Stratcom report was to be published last week, but its released angered Beijing so the final version may be heavily censored. So much for fighting misinformation and fake news.

Updated on Sep. 17, 2020