The chain of events leading to the global transmission of the novel coronavirus is an occurrence of the most considerable magnitude in the history of civilized man. It is most comparable to the infamous safety test gone wrong in Pripyat reactor four. It does not seem outlandish to say that, within fifteen years, the word Wuhan will serve a similar linguistic function as the word Chernobyl.
The remarkable thing about these incidents is the number of similarities in the governmental failures that contributed to these incidents. The almost innumerable parallels to be drawn between Wuhan and Chernobyl seem to serve as strong evidence that the environments and cultures forcibly cultivated by these “benevolent” socialist dictatorships contribute significantly to the causation and mishandling of these types of incidents.
The same culture produced by the USSR’s drive to achieve a global leadership position at any cost, also creates an environment that incentivizes the deceptive and careless behaviors that led to the reactor explosion. The point is this: The explosion was accidental, but was caused by the workers not fully understanding the reactor and trying to keep their brutal bosses happy. Keeping their bosses happy did not mean maintaining alignment with the safe operational protocols. Those directly responsible had no incentive to acknowledge their role in the disaster because they knew it would mean they would be held responsible for the incident, to the degree of execution or imprisonment. The same is true for those who initially investigated; rather than give the party officials lousy news, the investigators crafted a truth that fit the needs of the state because this yielded them their desired results.
The Soviets went to great lengths to never admit the truth or acknowledged that their frugality was the indirect culprit; the rest of the world bore the massive cost of their failures and self-preserving behavior. The constant reminder that the state is the arbiter and architect of objective truth is the source of the perverse incentive structure shared by the Soviets and the Chinese.
While the specifics of the coronavirus’ origin are uncertain, there is a prevalent opinion that is gaining factual support: there was a contamination incident at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, involving a graduate student. It is crucial to keep in mind that this graduate student was operating within the previously mentioned incentive structure that encourages the individual to react to reality in a way that seems objectively counterproductive in order to avoid repercussions from the State.
If an individual knew that making a mistake resulted in their contamination with any transmissible virus, they would also have to know their chances of favorable treatment from the State was poor. So, they would keep quiet and hope for the best, only to find out a few days later they had been infected. They were going about their normal lives, but they were also spreading the virus.
It is also reasonable that this virus could have originated, as the Chinese claim, from consuming wet market exotic animals. Either way, it is reasonable to assume the response to both sources of the outbreak would be identical: Upon learning about the initial infection and subsequent spread, the Chinese government would keep it quiet. The Chinese attempted to avoid embarrassment rather than warning the international community, even in the face of the abundant potential for the global dissemination of high magnitude negative externalities, much like the Soviets with Chernobyl.
In order to conceal the objective truth, the Chinese used force to silence those who spoke out. Even with the massive reach of the state, word of the outbreak escaped China to the world. The Chinese then lied about the mode of transmission of the virus shamelessly in a desperate attempt at further deception in order to protect Chinese economic interests. While propagating the lie that the virus was not transmissible through human contact, they were allowing people to travel freely to and from the affected areas of China.
As a result of exposing the international community to the virus, the Chinese had to change their story about transmissibility, as it would not take long for the truth about the virus to become clear. So, they changed their story on transmissibility and subsequently began alleging they had just begun draconian lockdown measures to contain the virus.
The Chinese claim their lockdown was successful, and the virus has had less of an impact on China than the free world. What they are not claiming is the responsibility. They will never take responsibility despite their failures and subsequent deliberate deceptions having led to massive death and economic despair.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.