JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin’s Long War Against American Science” – New York Times/ William J. Broad
A decade of health disinformation promoted by President Vladimir Putin of Russia has sown wide confusion, hurt major institutions and encouraged the spread of deadly illnesses.
“… the pandemic has swept the globe … accompanied by a dangerous surge of false information – an ‘infodemic,’ according to the [WHO] …. Analysts say … Putin … has played a principal role in the spread of false information as part of his wider effort to discredit the West and destroy his enemies from within. The House, the Senate and the nation’s intelligence agencies have typically focused on election meddling in their examinations of … Putin’s long campaign. But the repercussions are wider. … Putin has spread misinformation on issues of personal health for more than a decade. … [with] agents … repeatedly plant[ing] and spread[ing] the idea that viral epidemics – including flu outbreaks, Ebola and now the coronavirus – were sown by American scientists. … [seeking] to undermine faith in the safety of vaccines …. Moscow’s aim, experts say, is to portray American officials as downplaying the health alarms and thus posing serious threats to public safety. …”