The State Department will provide a quarter of a million dollars to prepare a "report on Russian and Soviet health-related disinformation campaigns." It is assumed that the winner may be one of the organizations "with experience in countering Russian misinformation."
The Russian embassy in the United States immediately criticized the idea of the State Department.
“Even during the most severe global epidemic, when we, both Russia and the USA, lose thousands of citizens, and everyone should have rallied, efforts are aimed at finding an external enemy,” the embassy said. Diplomats point out that the external enemy "is supposed to blame - in whole or in part - for the shortcomings of their own authorities".
Recall that experts in many countries of the world do not trust the optimistic data of Russia on the level of mortality from coronavirus, which show figures several times and orders of magnitude lower than in other countries with a comparable number of cases. So, for example, the Financial Times on May 12 reported that the actual number of deaths from COVID-19 may be 70% higher than official statistics report.
The New York Times, in turn , referring to the independent demographer Alexei Raksha, wrote that in Moscow, about 70% of deaths due to coronavirus were not registered, in other Russian regions - about 80%.
The publication also cited the words of Tatyana Mikhailova, senior researcher at the RANEPA, who claimed that mortality rates in the capital in April were much higher than in the same month on average over the past 10 years. True, the Moscow Department of Health strongly denied these data.
Be that as it may, the Russian authorities will still have to make a lot of efforts to prove the truth of their data.