Under Trump, the Pentagon spread anti-vaccination propaganda on social networks, Reuters

18.06.2024/15/45 XNUMX:XNUMX    118

Vaccines against the coronavirus have saved millions of lives. However, at the height of the epidemic, the United States and China conducted a disinformation campaign against vaccines. The aim was to undermine confidence in the vaccine and each other's virus protection, a Reuters investigation found.

The reporters interviewed more than 25 current and former US officials, military contractors, social media analysts and academic researchers. Investigators also examined at least 300 Twitter accounts that participated in an anti-vaccination campaign with the hashtag #Chinaangvirus (“China is a virus”).

"Covid came from China, and the vaccine also came from China, don't trust China," read a typical message pushed within the campaign launched by the Pentagon. People were also urged not to trust Chinese personal protective equipment.

It is noted that at the beginning of 2020, major powers entered the race to create a vaccine against the coronavirus as soon as possible. China and Russia approved their vaccines already in the summer of 2020, and Western companies - only at the end of the year. This allowed China to quickly set up overseas shipments of its Sinovac vaccine.

The Pentagon's anti-vaccination campaign began in the spring of 2020 and affected Southeast Asia, Central Asia, and the Middle East, where China actively supplied personal protective equipment and, later, vaccines.

After Joe Biden took office as US president in January 2021, already in the spring, the White House prohibited the Pentagon from spreading disinformation about the vaccines of competing countries. An internal investigation was also launched at the Pentagon.

However, journalists note that China at that time was engaged in exactly the same thing - spreading disinformation about the USA. For example, Chinese officials baselessly claimed that the coronavirus could have been brought to China by an American visiting the city of Wuhan to participate in international sports competitions. The Chinese also pushed the claim that the virus was created in a military laboratory in Maryland. To spread the version, Chinese intelligence also created false accounts in social networks.

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