The official Covid-19 death toll in the United States continues to climb, now exceeding 14,000, with at least hundreds of thousands more infected. Under these circumstances, the federal government has found it opportune to reignite the “Fake News” scare, censuring two familiar foes: Russia and China.
Before most in the West began worrying about the coronavirus, Agence France-Presse (2/23/20) asserted, with the US State Department as its sole source, that the Kremlin had been disseminating “anti-Western” information about the pathogen on social media in order to subvert Washington. Shortly after, the Washington Post (3/5/20) declared that “swarms of online, false personas” from Russia peddled “conspiracy theories” about Covid-19 in the US, again citing the State Department. The New York Times (3/28/20) followed with an ostensible bombshell report that Russia and China sought to “sow doubts about the United States’ handling of the crisis and deflect attention from their own struggles with the pandemic.”