Dr. Bradley A. Thayer and Lianchao Han write the following in the National Interest:
Desperate times call for desperate measures, especially if those desperate times were self-inflicted through misrule. Xi Jinping’s measures to contain China’s coronavirus pandemic, which is a biological Chernobyl, shows a typical Communist dictator’s behavioral pattern—rule by terror, violence and blatant disregard for human dignity. As a result of the top leader’s series of the missteps, the coronavirus pandemic spread quickly throughout the country, becoming akin to the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident. So far, the government announced over 2,444 people died, much worse than Chernobyl or the 2003 SARS pandemic. Most likely, the actual death toll is much higher.
From the very beginning, Xi’s anti-pandemic efforts turned into a political- and information warfare campaign to ensure the security of the regime. Thus, the cover up came first before public health or the chance to halt the pandemic. When the regime could not conceal its disaster and the people were outraged at the Communist Party of China’s (CCP) failure, Xi employed the CCP’s repressive security apparatus. He parachuted in two of his confidants, Ying Yong and Wang Zhonglin, to replace the party chiefs of Hubei province and Wuhan city. Both Ying and Wang worked in police and security apparatus for many years and are experienced in cracking down on dissents and maintaining political stability in the face of unrest. At the outset of their appointments, the security forces and stability apparatus were mobilized, including all aspects of China’s mass surveillance system. Law-enforcement officers and drones patrolled the streets looking for people who failed to wear masks or violated other measures. Xi also dispatched to Wuhan another confidant, Chen Yixin, who is the secretary-general of the Political and Legal Committee of the CPC Central Committee to oversee the roundup operation. As a result, there was a massive, arbitrary, and often violent round-up of tens of thousands of residents, which in turn exposed uninfected people to the disease. People are banned from going out, shopping for food, which is creating hardships for many people and in some cases leading to starvation.