What caused the outbreak of "covid psychosis" in Denmark? Why are there crowds of tourists from the United States in Belarus? Why did the WHO rate coronavirus control methods in Belarus so "highly"?

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Fake news of the week: What caused the outbreak of "covid psychosis" in Denmark? Why are there crowds of tourists from the United States in Belarus? Why did the WHO rate coronavirus control methods in Belarus so "highly"?

Pro-regime political scientists Borovik and Dzermant undertook to comment on the US demand to close the Belarusian Consulate General in New York. They got to the point where they began to feel sorry for American tourists, of which, allegedly, there was “plenty” in Belarus.

“Ordinary people suffer. Someone lives in the USA today, because they built a family and have children there, so to speak, someone was born, someone died, someone needs to transport a body somewhere, or, roughly speaking, open a visa for US citizens who want to visit Belarus. This is indeed inconvenient”, political scientist Vadim Borovik expressed his opinion on the talk show "Weekdays".

"The United States, by its actions, worsens the situation of both our citizens and its own – many Americans traveled to Belarus and some live in our country. This decision will affect them too," said political scientist Alexey Dzermant in an interview to the “BELTA” news agency.

If these two pro-regime political analysts were in the habit of looking for evidence for their words, they would look at the website of the National Statistical Committee and learn that, in fact, Americans rarely choose Belarus for travel.

According to Belstat, only 146 US citizens visited Belarus last year. In pre-covid 2019 - 859 tourists, but these numbers also do not show a large influx of Americans to Belarus.

The embassy of Belarus in Washington remains open in the United States. But the number of members in the US Embassy in Belarus was reduced twice by the Belarusian Foreign Ministry in 2021. There are five people left to work there. And for some reason, neither Vadim Borovik nor Alexey Dzermant condemned these actions because of the inconvenience for the Belarusian citizens who want to get a visa to the USA.

State TV channels often highlight  in their reports the high opinion of WHO experts about the Belarusian healthcare system. The ONT workers argue that Belarus was elected to the WHO Executive Committee in May.

"The fact that Belarus is a member of the WHO Executive Committee confirms the effectiveness of treatment and high level of our healthcare," was said on the ONT.

We decided to check this statement and studied for what merits a country can be elected as a member of the WHO Executive Committee. After all, Belarus had been on the WHO Executive Committee only once before - until 1950. Article 24 of the WHO Constitution states that the Executive Committee consists of 34 members, who are elected "taking into account an equitable geographical distribution”. At least three members are elected from each WHO regional organization for a three-year term.

The Executive committee includes Russia and Tajikistan as well. It also has Tonga, a country, which is ranked 171st out of 195 countries on the Global Health Security Index. There is also Syria, which is ranked 188th, and Timor-Leste (166th on the list). This shows that being elected to the Executive Committee is not yet an indication of a country's great merits in healthcare.

An educational seminar with three state journalism representatives was held in the small hall of the Palace of the Republic. These people turned out to be Grigory Azarenok, Igor Tur and Konstantin Pridybailo. Ludmila Gladkaya of the “Belarus Today” publishing house informed in her telegram channel that the hall was full. She wrote: "The hall is full and the atmosphere is on fire!"

Here's a photo confirmation of a full hall.

But thanks to blogger Anton Shabashov, who streamed the event and showed the real number of admirers of the talent of these three pro-regime media workers. The small hall of the Palace of the Republic can seat up to 467 people. The entrance to the seminar was free, by pre-registration. Shabashov's video shows that the hall is far from full.

We calculated, rounding all the calculations in favor of the organizers, that there were about 200 people in the audience. This includes other state media workers and bloggers who came to support the speakers. 200 people is less than half of the small hall.

A Belteleradiocompany worker Maria Petrashko shared a video of the protest against covid passports in Denmark in her channel with 1,500 subscribers. In the video, people are dancing and having fun. Maria called it "coronavirus psychosis”.

However, Petrashko did not understand the situation a little and did not check the information. First of all, the video does not show Denmark, but the city of Tilburg in the Netherlands. On the posters, you can see the inscription, which in Russian means "This policy does not make sense for 1.5 meters". This is how a well-known Dutch expression is played out – it doesn't make sense. Here is a video of the journalist from the protest that day. It was taken on September 11.

Secondly, this demonstration is not against covid passports, but against the restrictions on events that were introduced there at the beginning of July. Due to the growing level of coronavirus infection in the Netherlands, nightclubs and discos have been closed, live performances in bars and restaurants have been banned, and public catering establishments must be closed by midnight. Therefore, the Events Coalition called on young people in various cities in the Netherlands to go out on peaceful protests demanding the lifting of the ban on all event activities. By the way, Tilburg is considered one of the largest student cities in the country.

Protests under the slogan "Unmute us" began in late August. The most massive protests took place on September 11 in 11 Dutch cities. They gathered more than 100 thousand participants. In other words, this is not a "covid psychosis", as Petrashko put it, but an organized format of protest.

The protests worked. Since September 25, the authorities have weakened the ban: restaurants, bars and cultural events are allowed, but they can only be held until midnight. You can visit them with a vaccination passport or a negative test for coronavirus. However, at that time, almost 70% of the population in the Netherlands was fully vaccinated.