On March 14, Sputnik-georgia published on its web-page an article, titled “Fall ill with the COVID 19: the doctor urges the people to get infected, voluntarily”. The article refers to the UK government Chief Scientific Adviser, Patrick Vallance‘s briefing conducted on March 12. According to Sputnik’s version, Patrick Vallance called on the population of Great Britain to get infected with the coronavirus deliberately in order to develop immunity.
“Tbilisi, 14 March — Sputnik. The coronavirus -COVID 19- might turn into a seasonal disease, so I recommend the British to get infected with coronavirus, in order to develop immunity, the UK government Chief Scientific Adviser, doctor Patrick Vallance stated, the BBC reports.”
The title of the article and the quotation are manipulative, and create the impression that British are called on to get infected deliberately. In fact, in his address on 12 March, the UK government Chief Scientific Adviser first spoke about the phaze of delaying the coronavirus, and then noted that since it is impossible to avoid the infection, it would be desirable to develop immunity for self-defense in the future.
On March 12, during the public address, broadcast by the BBC, Patrick Vallance spoke about the number of people infected in Great Britain and noted that about 590 people are infected in the country, of which more than 20 patients are in intensive care units.
The UK government Chief Scientific Adviser spoke about the necessity of delaying the peak of the coronavirus and pushing the peak down. He highlighted the importance of postponing the process for the summer, when the National Health Service is less busy. He also stated how essential it is to change the forms of dissemination in order to manage the process.
Patrick Vallance: „The actions, we need to take are to try to do two things: it is to delay the peak and to push the peak down. So, we are trying to reduce the number of cases any one time. That is very important for National Health Service (NHS), in order to make the NHS able to cope with this and it is also important, because it pushes it out into summer months, when the National Health Service (NHS) is less busy. So, one aim is to change the shape of this”.
In this context, Patrick Vallance highlighted the second issue, the necessity of developing immunity, due to the inevitability of spread of the virus:
Patrick Vallance: “And secondly, it is important to recognize, it is not to stop everybody getting it, you can’t do that. It is not possible to stop everybody getting it. And it’s also actually not desirable, because you want some immunity in the population. We need to have immunity in order to protect ourselves from this in the future“
The quotation in Sputnik-Georgia’s article and the title create the impression that Vallance calls on the population of Great Britain to get infected deliberately. Sir Vallance’s words, given in the article, have been quoted out of the context, while the periphrasis by Sputnik does not correspond to the words, he spoke live on BBC regarding developing immunity to protect the population from the virus in the long term.
Patrick Vallance also spoke about the necessity of protecting the risk groups - vulnerable and elderly, since they face the greatest danger under the new virus.
Identical material in Russian media
On March 13, Gazeta.ru also published Patrick Vallance’s address with identical interpretation. The article titled “Like the vaccine: the British were reccomended to fall ill with the coronavirus” (Как прививка: британцам посоветовали заразиться COVID-19) states as if Vallance in his address called on the population of Great Britain to get infected deliberately. In contrast to other web-pages, only gazeta.ru uses Viktor Larichev’s name and surname in a suspicious manner and cites a quote, also used by Sputnik-Georgia’s author in current article, as if it is preferable for children and youth to get infected in order to develop immunity.
The web-page Gazeta.ru is linked to Russian billioneer Alexander Mamut, whose income, according to the Forbes, is USD 2,4 billion. His major asset is 11% of the share in precious metals mining group Polymetal in Russia. He also is Rambler & Co’s executive director, who owns several internet media projects, including, news websites Lenta.ru and gazeta.ru. It should be noted that Rambler & Co is also linked to Russian oligarch Vladimir Potanin, and was managed by Alexander Mamut and Vladimir Potanin until Mamut bought Potanin’s shares in 2013. Vladimir Potanin’s real time net worth, according to Forbes, is USD 22.5 billion.
Prepared by Guka Gudashvili
Myth Detector Lab Regional Network