In late January, when the Coronavirus outbreak was still at a nascent stage and had not assumed the shape of a Pandemic, TFI had drawn an analogy between the COVID-19 coverup by China and the Chernobyl disaster, the worst nuclear accident in human history, which had been desperately concealed by the erstwhile Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).
Today, publications around the world are underscoring the stark resemblance between the erstwhile Soviet Union’s Chernobyl cover-up and China’s Coronavirus Pandemic cover-up, both the incidents- a nuclear disaster and a Pandemic posed a serious threat to the entire human race, and both of them arose out of opaque Communist regimes.
The Chernobyl nuclear accident had caused the disintegration of the USSR five years later, accordingly one wonders if COVID-19 is China’s Chernobyl moment and if it will cause China’s eventual downfall.
Even the last Soviet President, Mikhail Gorbachev who had overseen the dismantling of the USSR had stated that the Chernobyl was probably “the real cause of the collapse of the Soviet Union”.
He had pointed out how the nuclear accident was a “turning point” that “opened the possibility of much greater freedom of expression, to the point that the system as we knew it could no longer continue.”
He was speaking of the same freedom of expression, which the Xi Jinping regime actively suppressed within China during the Coronavirus outbreak.
While the Coronavirus Pandemic is one of the worst epidemics to hit the world in a long time, the Chernobyl disaster remains the worst nuclear accident in human history. However, the explosion at Reactor no. 4 of the Nuclear Power Plant situated in Ukraine that discharged huge amounts of nuclear material, leading to evacuation of and migration of 1,60,000 people, had not instantly come in public knowledge.
In fact, for two days there was not even a faint idea of the nuclear disaster to the outer world that stood threatened by the explosion at Reactor no. 4 of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. It was only after Sweden discovered a radiation cloud that had drifted across the European Continent that the true extent of the Chernobyl nuclear accident was revealed.
Soviet Union, then engaged in an arms race with the United States in the context of the Cold War was not willing to reveal the reality of a nuclear accident of this scale and magnitude to the entire world.
But after Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway reported surge in radioactivity, the opaque regime in Moscow felt compelled to make a formal announcement. The erstwhile Soviet Union though had barely stated that Western reports of fire and extensive damage at the Nuclear Power Plant were unfounded, and that clean-up efforts were progressing at a good pace.
The way Moscow had downplayed the Chernobyl disaster is no different from Beijing’s COVID-19 coverup. If Moscow had downplayed the extent of damage at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, the Communist Party of China (CCP) actively colluded with the WHO to mislead the entire world about the severity of the Wuhan virus.
WHO refused to acknowledge human to human transmission of the Coronavirus Pandemic despite several warnings and castigated countries like the USA and India who started restricting flights to and fro from China.
Apart from delaying information about human to human transmission, Beijing also misled the entire world about the mortality rate of the novel infection, claiming that it stood at just 2 per cent. But when other parts of the world like Italy and United Kingdom were hit, the actual fatality rate came out to be much higher.
Within the USSR, Moscow had ensured lack of awareness about the worst nuclear accident in human history. Not only were the citizens kept unapprised of the disaster, but even the Soviet officials were not told that a huge explosion had happened at reactor no. 4 of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.
As a matter of fact, while an American Nuclear Scientist said, “If the radioactivity is a few millirem 700 miles away, I’d hate to be within 10 miles,” the Soviet media kept claiming that nuclear accidents like Chernobyl were “virtually impossible”.
The Chinese State media also made similar attempts to downplay the novel virus and the extent of damage it caused within China. For starters, whistle-blower doctors like Ai Fen and Li Wenliang were either detained or mysteriously disappeared on the allegation of “spreading rumours” when they spoke of patients testing positive for the Chinese virus.
Even journalists who spoke of the novel Wuhan infection were mysteriously disappeared, as China went into an overdrive hiding the real numbers and harassing its own citizens if they spoke about the real threat posed by COVID-19.
It is now known that the first Coronavirus case was detected as early as November 17, 2019 but China informed the WHO only on December 31, 2019. The Chinese citizens were informed even later on January 20, 2020 about a disease that threatened their own survival.
Chernobyl and Coronavirus, though disasters of completely different kind, share a number of trappings. After the Chernobyl disaster, Ukrainian officials had sparred with Moscow over evacuation of children at Kiev. Sings of disillusionment in local administration with the CCP are also visible in the People’s Republic of China now.
Dr. Li Wenliand and Dr. Ai Fen emerged as heroes in Hubei, even though they perished at the hands of Beijing. But this might have already set the downfall of the might Dragon in motion.
Hiding information from its own citizens, misleading the world about the magnitude of threat forced, spineless State media adulating the all-powerful leadership and strong-arming local administration, COVID-19 Pandemic and Chernobyl nuclear disaster are identical cover-ups at all fronts across two Communist regimes.
The Chernobyl accident had triggered outrage and disillusionment against the Soviet Union ultimately leading to its disintegration, and now the People’s Republic of China is facing popular discontent over its cover-up. This will in all probability mark the downfall of the second biggest economy of the world.