Friday, May 28, 2021

China's Chernobyl

...In the case of COVID-19, China first attempted to downplay the virus. The Wuhan local government stated that it was unusual pneumonia and denied it was contagious. However, the severity of the coronavirus became known to the rest of the world when the virus spread from person to person and traveled beyond China. Since then, the Chinese government has variably insisted that the coronavirus escaped from the Wuhan wet market. Or that it somehow teleported 7,500 miles from Fort Detrick into Wuhan.

The lies are defining. Consider, for example, how the National Medical Library in Kyiv, on the order of the Soviet authorities, emptied shelves of books that contained the word "radiation." When it comes to the coronavirus, which has killed millions of people worldwide, China has intimidated, censored, and "disappeared" those willing to tell the truth about what happened. Beijing has also limited outside access to the WIV, including to the World Health Organization. An organization, it must be noted, which has been all too willing to take China’s lies at face value.

The responses to Chernobyl and COVID-19 have shown the reflexive comfort with which communist authoritarian regimes resort to deception amid crisis. This is their reflex even where it is quickly clear that deception will cause far greater long-term harm....