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Russian spokesperson Maria Zakharova. Wikipedia

US State Department accuses Russia of Coronavirus disinformation campaign

The US State Department's allegations about Russia’s alleged disinformation campaign concerning the novel coronavirus origins are not true, said a Russian government spokesperson.

Published: February 23, 2020, 9:22 am

    Moscow

    Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told TASS on Saturday: “It is a deliberate fake.” Zakharova was responding to media reports claiming that the US Department of State believes that Russia is behind the proliferation of disinformation about the Coronavirus outbreak.

    France Presse on Saturday cited unnamed US Department of State officials stating that US diplomats had been tasked to offset a disinformation campaign allegedly unleashed on social networks, including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

    The agency’s sources maintained that corresponding posts appear on accounts of users “linked with Russia”.

    US Acting Assistant Secretary of State Philip Reeker commented on these reports, saying that some “Russian malign actors” were allegedly behind the disinformation campaign fueling Coronavirus fears and threatening “public safety by distracting from the global health response”.

    A pneumonia outbreak caused by the COVID-19 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV) was reported in China’s city of Wuhan, a large trade and industrial center with a population of 12 million, in late December.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) has since declared the Coronavirus outbreak in China a global health emergency, characterizing it as an epidemic with multiple foci.

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