Foreign Policy/Government/Health

White House says foreign disinformation campaign over coronavirus aims to cause panic

President Donald J. Trump, joined by Vice President Mike Pence and members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, takes questions from the press at a coronavirus update briefing Saturday, March 14, 2020, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

(USA Features) The Trump administration said Monday that a disinformation campaign has been launched by a foreign government that aims to sow angst and panic among the U.S. population over the coronavirus outbreak.

An unnamed “senior official” told Fox News that “there is an ongoing effort to spread disinformation and cause undue panic” among U.S. citizens, but confirmed, “there is no national quarantine for the United States.”

Now, more than ever, “it’s important we remain vigilant in ensuring our information is coming from verified sources,” the official said.

On Monday, President Trump introduced guidelines for states and citizens to follow, including closures of bars, restaurants, and schools if needed.




He also recommended that Americans avoid gathering in groups of more than 10 people and to avoid going to nursing homes. But they were guidelines, not a national ‘lockdown’ order.

The Associated Press received similar communication from the White House, warning of “a deliberate effort by a foreign entity to sow fears of a nationwide quarantine amid the virus outbreak.”

On Sunday, the National Security Council tweeted: “Text message rumors of a national #quarantine are FAKE. There is no national lockdown,” advising Americans to rely on established sources for information like the CDC.

In addition, the Pentagon has reprimanded the Chinese government for spreading “false and absurd conspiracy theories about the origin of COVID-19 blaming U.S. service members.”

At his press conference Monday, Trump also alluded to foreign powers “playing games” with coronavirus information.


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