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Demagog - Chisinau Report (2021)

FAKE NEWS: In Moldova, Covid-19 statistics are manipulated to serve Maia Sandu

Pandemie
©EPA-EFE/DUMITRU DORU  |   A security officer wearing a face mask and a stray dog are seen inside the Central Market as a protest is underway outside, in Chisinau, Moldova, 16 May 2020. The protesters demanded the Central Market's reopening and accused the Moldovan government of discrimination against small-scale vendors and bias in favor of supermarket chains, which are allowed to continue operating amid the ongoing pandemic of the COVID-19 disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

Statistics on the number of Coronavirus infections are manipulated to serve the political interests of Maia Sandu, according to the Socialist MP Bogdan Țîrdea, one of the most active promoters of false narratives in Moldova. The statistics narrative is false too, and, just like the previous ones, has been amplified by several publications.

NEWS: “The Socialist Bogdan Țîrdea mentions that there is a US biological laboratory in our country, part of the Academy of Sciences. Nobody knows what the lab does, but some conclusions need to be drawn.

It is strange that, after the presidential election, the number of infections suddenly dropped to a few hundred.

At the height of Maia Sandu's battle with parliament, it rose to 2,500. And as soon as Sandu dissolved parliament, the virus kind of disappeared, and only 40-90 cases of infection per day have been reported since.

“A strange, politically affiliated virus”, cenzura.md wrote, quoting Bogdan Țîrdea, in a news item entitled: “Țîrdea: the Covid in Moldova is politically affiliated”.

Also, bloknot-moldova.md writes, referring to the same conclusions drawn by the Socialist deputy, that “someone is manipulating the statistics on the number of cases of infection”.

NARRATIVES: 1. Someone (meaning the West, USA) is manipulating statistics on the number of infections with the new coronavirus in the Republic of Moldova, to serve the interests of Maia Sandu. 2. Statistics on the number of infections are not credible.

LOCAL CONTEXT / ETHOS: Bogdan Țîrdea is one of the ideologues of the Party of Socialists, but also the author of a book in which he accuses the West, especially the financier George Soros, of involvement in the political processes in the Republic of Moldova through non-governmental organizations. The book was launched during the 2020 presidential election campaign, with the aim of associating Maia Sandu, the main opponent of the socialist Igor Dodon, with the “parallel state”, “foreign agents”, etc.During that campaign, almost all the levers of power were being held by PSRM, which, practically, from that position, was also responsible for managing the epidemiological crisis. All the authorities did at the time was minimize the impact and risks of the pandemic, even if the existence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus was not officially denied; the Socialists were actually criticized for that approach.

PURPOSE: To inoculate the idea that the statistics on the number of Coronavirus infections are false, manipulated by the supporters / followers of Maia Sandu. To bring up the subject of Western (American) biological laboratories. To fuel conspiracy theories about the coronavirus.

WHY THE NARRATIVES ARE FALSE: During the pandemic, the number of infections fluctuated significantly around the world, with peaks reached during several waves, and a drastic reduction between them. The oscillations depended on factors such as restrictions, the appearance of new outbreaks or stems, season, etc.; so, it is not unusual for the same to have happened in the Republic of Moldova.The data provided by www.worldometers.info show that the peak periods in the Republic of Moldova coincided with those around the world and in the neighboring countries, Romania and Ukraine: with record numbers of daily new cases reported in January and April.Currently, both globally and regionally, there are fewer cases compared to March-April, which is explained first by vaccination campaigns, especially on the European continent.In the Republic of Moldova, statistics on the daily number of infections are presented by the Ministry of Health, which is part of a government voted and supported by the Socialists.Between March and April, when a record number of cases were registered in the Republic of Moldova, the “fight” between Maia Sandu and the Socialists regarding the dissolution of parliament also reached its peak. Maia Sandu insisted on holding early elections, and one of the main arguments of PSRM against that scenario was the very complicated pandemic situation. Maia Sandu was accused of putting personal political ambitions above people's lives. So, if we were to agree that someone is manipulating the figures to serve Maia Sandu, in this case, whoever did that, did it to the detriment of the president. The existence of American biological laboratories, where biological weapons are allegedly produced, and people are performed tests on, etc., is an old topic, which appears usually during election campaigns and is promoted by the Russian-language press. Several debunking articles have been written on the subject, and the authorities have denied their existence.

GRAIN OF TRUTH: The number of daily new cases of infection with the new coronavirus is fluctuating, both in the Republic of Moldova and at regional and global level.


  • Publication / Media:
    cenzura.md
  • Language / Target audience:
    PSRM and undecided voters, supporters of conspiracy theories
  • Amplification:
    bloknot-moldova.md
  • Political affiliation:
    PSRM
  • Key narrative:
    Covid-19 statistics are manipulated to serve Maia Sandu
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  • Statistics on the number of Coronavirus infections are manipulated to serve the political interests of Maia Sandu, according to the Socialist MP Bogdan Țîrdea, one of the most active promoters of false narratives in Moldova. The statistics narrative is false too, and, just like the previous ones, has been amplified by several publications.
  • NARRATIVES: 1. Someone (meaning the West, USA) is manipulating statistics on the number of infections with the new coronavirus in the Republic of Moldova, to serve the interests of Maia Sandu. 2. Statistics on the number of infections are not credible.
  • PURPOSE: To inoculate the idea that the statistics on the number of Coronavirus infections are false, manipulated by the supporters / followers of Maia Sandu. To bring up the subject of Western (American) biological laboratories. To fuel conspiracy theories about the coronavirus.
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