Russia Today Pushes Conspiracy Theory Bill Gates Is Behind Coronavirus Pandemic

Welly welly welly well, when it comes down to brass tacks, who knows who might break ranks and play entirely off the field. Perhaps there is hope after all.

Station Gossip article

The conspiracy theory that Bill Gates is responsible for the coronavirus pandemic has been pushed on Russian state television, with the European Union warning that some state media outlets in Russia are trying to create confusion with bogus theories about the virus.
The prime-time program Man and Law, which is broadcast on the country's Channel 1 network, ran a 15-minute segment in which Gates was described as a billionaire 
sponsor of the World Health Organization (WHO) who sought to "reduce the population of the planet." Some 51% of Channel 1's shares are owned by representatives of the Russian state.
Radio Free Europe reported that the segment, broadcast on April 24, drew on a 
number of controversial online sources including a homeopathy website, an anti-vaccination campaigner and a Canadian pro-life, site to smear Gates, who has pledged $250 million to develop a coronavirus vaccine.



Russian state media dedicated prime time to amplifying conspiracy theories that Bill Gates is behind the coronavirus pandemic. An EU report says Russian state media are running a campaign to "sow confusion" about the origins of the virus.
Such theories linking the Microsoft founder to the coronavirus are not new, with 
analysis last month by The New York Times and media analytics company Zignal 
Labs, saying that the link was mentioned more than 1.2 million times on TV and 
social media between February and April.
However, analysis by the European Commission shows that Russian media has been peddling a number of other conspiracy theories about the coronavirus.
When contacted by Newsweek, a European Commission spokesperson pointed to research it published on April 30, conducted by its EU Versus Disinformation branch, which described how COVID-19 "is still the dominating topic in the pro-Kremlin disinformation ecosystem."
These included claims that the virus was man-made, a biological weapon or that it was created in foreign laboratories.
"It is likely that the COVID-19 outbreak will continue to dominate both in professional news reporting and in the content of disinformation outlets, " EU Versus Disinformation concluded, although it did note that given Europe's response to the virus, "it appears that the topic is starting to become less comfortable as a vessel for pro-Kremlin disinformation."
Mark Galeotti, Russian expert and honorary professor at University College London's School of Slavonic and East European Studies, said that while such conspiracy theories about the coronavirus were common on Russian television, they did not represent a plan by the Kremlin. (more at link)

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