Yesterday, Western journalists were like:
This referred to the original state news agency RIA article, which stated that Boris Johnson was hospitalized and would be put under a ventilator.
And earlier today, the British government were like:
- Business Insider: Boris Johnson’s spokesman accuses Russia of spreading ‘disinformation’ after Russian state media claims the prime minister is on a coronavirus ventilator
- Buzzfeed: The UK Has Condemned Russia For Spreading “Disinformation” About Boris Johnson’s Health
Originally, I supposed that the innocent explanation would be a minor error on the part of the Russians, with the Russians mistranslating BoJo being given oxygen (admitted to by the UK earlier today) as being put in the ventilator.
Though considering that the RIA article was printed for Russians, the claim that it was malicious disinformation meant to “undermine” the West (or whatever the latest trope is) was plainly ridiculous even then.
But now things are like this:
Looks like the RIA people really did have a high-placed sourced in the NHS (note that the claim BoJo would be put under a ventilator was stated in the future tense).
If so, it was in fact refraining from publishing this in English that was most notable – not that this will be recognized.
As I speculated yesterday, the UK may well have issued a secret D-notice to prevent the British media from covering the seriousness of BoJo’s situation. Incidentally, that’s a mechanism that “authoritarian” Russia lacks.
Would it also be too soon to speculate on how the Western hacks who have spent most of the past two months inventing fantasizing about a massive hidden epidemic in Russia would have reacted to the Kremlin similarly covering up Putin getting put into an ICU with the coronavirus?
This is going to be a fantastic year for Britain. pic.twitter.com/dLQUVauCKg
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) January 2, 2020
Anyhow, I hope BoJo makes it. He’s certainly not having a “fantastic year” to date.