Chinese Disinformation Campaign Blames COVID Pandemic on...Lobster?

There is a new theory going around apparently as to what actually started the pandemic.

I'll say that it is probably the most ridiculous one that I've heard.

A Chinese linked disinformation campaign is pushing the propaganda that the origins of the virus came from the United States and more specifically, Maine lobsters.

Marcel Schliebs, a researcher at Oxford University has been tracking down messages from Chinese diplomates and state media that have been circulating on Twitter for the last year and a half and he spotted this theory.

With some further digging, Schliebs uncovered a network of more than 550 Twitter accounts, which he shared with NBC News, spreading a nearly identical message, translated into multiple languages — including English, Spanish, French, Polish, Korean and even Latin — at similar times each day between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. China Standard Time.

Some of the accounts were “unsophisticated sock puppets” with “very few or zero followers,” Schliebs said, while others appeared to be accounts that were once authentic but had been hijacked and repurposed to spread disinformation.


“This is the third or fourth major different redirection Chinese officials have gone in to try and somehow pin the Covid outbreak on the U.S.,” Bret Schafer, the head of the information manipulation team at the Alliance for Securing Democracy, part of the nonprofit German Marshall Fund of the United States, said about the diplomats spreading the messaging bolstered by inauthentic accounts. “It looks crude and not sophisticated when you look at individual accounts. But these kinds of networks are designed to try and get topics to trend on social media.”

“Whether or not anyone is buying into lobster or Fort Detrick being the source of Covid, it’s at least having the effect of muddying the truth and confusing people,” he added. (Fort Detrick, in Maryland, is the home of the U.S. biological defense program.)

So just so we're clear here, China, believes that these Maine lobsters is the original source of the virus? This is the state that is notorious for eating lobster because it is so readily available. This is the state that, despite eating so much lobster, has the fourth-lowest number of deaths in the country, the third-lowest in the country based on percentage, the third-lowest number of cases based on percentage, and the fifth-lowest number of total cases. Sorry, I'm not buying this one.


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