COVID-19 disinformation being spread by Russia, China, say experts - 2020-05-26
Some of the disinformation circulating online amounts to conspiracy theories about the origins of the virus — claims that it was invented in a lab or brought to China by U.S. soldiers, for example.
Some of it involves false reports that experts say could end up harming people — the claim that handwashing doesn't help to prevent the spread of COVID-19, for example, or that the virus doesn't affect smokers.
Canadian Philip Howard heads the Oxford Internet Institute, a U.K.-based academic body studying the sociology of the internet. He said the pandemic has seen an increase in misinformation and disinformation related to COVID-19 being spread by sources related to foreign governments.