Trump’s adviser compares China’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic to Chernobyl ‘cover-up’

A top White House official on Sunday likened China’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak to the Soviet Union’s cover-up of the meltdown at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986.

National security adviser Robert O’Brien said Beijing knew what was happening with the virus, which originated in Wuhan, from November but lied to the World Health Organization and prevented outside experts from accessing information.

‘The cover-up that they did of the virus is going to go down in history, along with Chernobyl. We’ll see an HBO special about it 10 or 15 years from now,’ he added, referring to a television miniseries,’ O’Brien said on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press.’

On Sunday, NSA Robert O’Brien (pictured) compared China’s handling of the coronavirus to the cover-up of Chernobyl in Moscow, Russia

‘This is a real problem and it cost many, many thousands of lives in America and around the world because the real information was not allowed to get out.

”It was a cover-up. And we’ll get to the bottom of it eventually.’  

O’Brien was responding to host Chuck Todd’s question about whether President Trump and his administration was tough enough on Beijing make a trade deal with China. 

‘They unleashed a virus on the world that’s destroyed trillions of dollars in American economic wealth that we’re having to spend to keep our economy alive, to keep Americans afloat during this virus,’ he added. 

The pandemic dealt a harsh blow to America’s economy when businesses were forced to close and an increasing number of citizens were out of a job. 

Many industries, from air travel to entertainment, have struggled to stay afloat as Americans live under lockdown orders.  

The disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, in the former Soviet republic of Ukraine, released radioactive nuclear material that killed dozens of people within weeks and forced tens of thousands to flee. 

Moscow delayed revealing the extent of what is regarded as the worst nuclear accident in history.

Pictured: President Donald Trump

Pictured: China's President Xi

President Trump (left) has repeatedly criticized President Xi (right) and China’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic 

Medical worker Cheng Wei takes care of a COVID-19 patient whose nucleic acid test result has turned negative in a ward at the west campus of the Union Hospital affiliated with Tongji Medical College of Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan

Medical worker Cheng Wei takes care of a COVID-19 patient whose nucleic acid test result has turned negative in a ward at the west campus of the Union Hospital affiliated with Tongji Medical College of Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan

U.S. President Donald Trump regularly complains about China and President Xi’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak.

He’s repeatedly claimed that China did not properly record the number of deaths and cases. Trump also alleged that China caused ‘mass worldwide killing.’

‘Some wacko in China just released a statement blaming everybody other than China for the Virus which has now killed hundreds of thousands of people,’ Trump tweeted, referencing an unidentified individual, last week.

‘Please explain to this dope that it was the ‘incompetence of China’, and nothing else, that did this mass Worldwide killing!’ he continued.

According to Trump, those actions led to the global spread and eventual shutdowns as the virus spread across the globe. 

There are 5.3million confirmed coronavirus cases in the world and 343,000 deaths. 

The US, which was hit hard by the coronavirus, has recorded 1,635,192 cases and a death toll of 97,495 so far.  

O’Brien added that Trump’s move to ban travel from China in January was a ‘profile in courage’ that ‘saved countless lives.’

‘And it was something that he was criticized for by his political opponents and by many in the media. That saved countless lives. I think that’s the thing that we have to focus on with China,’ O’Brien said.  

‘Now we were hoping that China would allow CDC doctors into China. We were hoping that China would give us more information on the virus and give us some of the genetic information we needed.

‘Unfortunately, China did none of that. And so, look, we’re in a very different place with China right now, and the president’s made that clear. 

‘But, you know, the Chinese didn’t do what they said.’ 

When asked if he thought China would share a coronavirus vaccine with the US if it developed one, O’Brien said he believed America would be first in that regard.

‘I think we’re going to develop a vaccine first,’ he said.

‘We’re doing tremendous work on therapies and vaccines. And once we get them, we’ll share them not only with America but we’ll share them with the world.’

But he then suggested that China may be attempting to steal the U.S.’s research on vaccines and therapies.

‘There’s a chance, and it’s been reported, that the Chinese have been engaged in espionage to try to find the research and the technologies that we’re working on both for a vaccine and a therapy,’ said O’Brien.

‘They’ve got a many-year history of stealing American intellectual property and knocking off American technology and I wouldn’t be surprised if they did that with the vaccines.’

China has denied the accusations against it, and its top diplomat on Sunday accused the United States of spreading lies and attacking the country.