Chinese Media: Wuhan Coronavirus ‘the U.S. and Europe’s New Chernobyl’

This photo taken on February 22, 2020 shows a nurse adjusting his goggles in an intensive
STR/AFP via Getty Images

The Chinese government newspaper Global Times proclaimed the coronavirus potentially “the U.S. and Europe’s new Chernobyl” in a column Wednesday accusing the world of “stigmatizing China” for lying about the origin and severity of the Wuhan outbreak, leading it to become a global pandemic.

The Chinese Communist Party has focused much of its coronavirus response to questioning the pathogen’s origin. Scientists agree that conclusive evidence places the virus’s origin in Wuhan, central China. The first known Chinese coronavirus case is believed to have been diagnosed on November 17, 2019. China waited months to alert the people of Wuhan to an infectious disease spreading, allowing locals to attend mass events that helped the virus spread.

Despite the universal agreement on the virus originating in Wuhan and the Communist Party’s incompetence leading to the global pandemic, Chinese think tank writer Fabio Masimo Parenti falsely claimed in his Global Times article that “the exact origin of COVID-19 [the Chinese coronavirus] has yet to be specifically determined.”

“Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus epidemic, there have been episodes of blatant discrimination against Chinese people,” Parenti lamented. “The virus has been linked to a nationality and to an ethnicity, and Chinese citizens abroad are paying the price.”

Parenti claimed that America is spearheading a “dangerous geopolitical game” in which the rest of the world agrees that the Wuhan virus originated in Wuhan as an attempt to tarnish Beijing’s reputation. Instead of recognizing the facts of the background of the virus, Parenti suggests disparaging the international response to the Chinese virus, particularly the attempts by Washington and the European Union to keep citizens safe.

“The politicization of this virus is unacceptable. Criticizing China and underestimating the crisis have served to create political confusion and undermined the situation in Europe and the US. Yet China is emerging stronger,” the column read. “This crisis is a test for all the world’s authorities and peoples. Some have called the epidemic ‘China’s Chernobyl,’ but reality is showing that it could be the US and Europe’s new Chernobyl.”

Many consider the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster – the needless meltdown of a nuclear powerplant in northeast Ukraine after Soviet officials ordered plant workers to increase power to a clearly endangered reactor, then refused to acknowledge the spread of dangerous radiation throughout Europe – the most spectacular single-day failure of communism. Communism has also killed untold millions in longer-term disgraces such as Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward and Fidel Castro’s failed 10-million-ton sugar harvest. The Global Times did not identify anyone calling the Wuhan virus “China’s Chernobyl,” so it is unclear who the villain of the column is. In the United States, the far left has referred to the Chinese pandemic as “Trump’s Chernobyl.”

The Global Times article also accused the West of abandoning Italy while China launched a propaganda medical mission to the country, among the most devastated by the outbreak due to its close economic ties to China.

“Does anyone still believe our allies who told us to ‘not let China enter your markets’ or to ‘guard against the China threat?'” Parenti asked, referring to an outbreak experts agree was largely exacerbated in Italy by the high number of Chinese imported workers and tourists. “Actually, China and Italy are sharing the same fate and showing what international solidarity really means. China and Italy are paving the way for a new form of international cooperation between nations.”

Chinese dictator Xi Jinping debuted during a call with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte this week that Beijing will begin building a “Health Silk Road,” infiltrating the healthcare systems of countries affected by the Chinese coronavirus under the guise of sending doctors to places that are suffering healthcare shortages. The “Health Silk Road” will reportedly be an expansion of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Xi’s plan to control the world’s most trafficked roads, ports, and railways.

The Global Times “Chernobyl” article is part of a public relations barrage by Chinese publications to condemn the United States for correctly identifying the virus as having come from China. A separate article on the site repeated the false claim that the origin nation of the virus “is still uncertain” while claiming that President Donald Trump identified the virus accurately as Chinese “to divert domestic attention from a botched handling of the virus to attacking China.”

China Daily, another government outlet, accused unnamed Americans of spreading “conspiracy theories,” on Wednesday.

“The novel coronavirus pandemic has increased mistrust between the US and China with conspiracy theories being aired, and each side blaming the other, which has hampered efforts at global coordination to tackle the crisis,” China Daily claimed, without naming any specific conspiracy theories.

The article notably omitted the spread of a rumor by the Chinese Foreign Ministry that the U.S. Army created the virus in a laboratory in Maryland – a claim that the foreign ministry spokesman spreading it, Lijian Zhao, corroborated with no evidence.

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