Rampant Conspiracy Theories
Conspiracy theories have been widely disseminated over social media as the novel coronavirus takes a heavy impact, with more than 5,300 people dead and 140,000 infected worldwide.
US officials earlier told AFP that Russia had systematically spread disinformation in an effort to damage the US reputation, with coordinated Facebook and Twitter posts that suggested that the United States was behind the novel coronavirus.
Russia denied responsibility for the social media effort, which recalled the former Soviet Union’s campaign in the 1980s to link HIV to the US government.
Iran’s firebrand former president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has written the World Health Organization to urge an investigation into the “biological war against humanity,” questioning why US adversaries China and Iran have been so badly hit.
Italy, a close US ally, officially has the most cases of COVID-19 after China.