Communist China’s lack of action and failure to take the appropriate measures to inform the world – as well as its own people – about the deadly coronavirus is comparable to the former Soviet Union’s actions during the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown, Retired CIA senior Clandestine Services Officer Daniel Hoffman told The Sara Carter Show on Monday.

The cascading failure rests largely on the hands of Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is directing a propaganda machine to blame the outbreak on the United States. The coronavirus, which began in China’s Wuhan province, is still an unknown, invisible enemy that has taken the world hostage and left uncertainty about what to do next in the hands of medical professionals and governments striving to keep citizens alive and economies churning.

“I’d liken this to like China’s Chernobyl,” said Hoffman, referring to the coronavirus pandemic and the Chinese government’s actions during the onset of the outbreak.

Chernobyl was one of the “worst nuclear accidents in history of the world. And what we’re seeing today from China is the same thing we saw way back then obsequious apparatchiks who don’t want to tell the truth out of fear for recrimination from Xi Jinping.”

He noted that the “opaque Chinese bureaucracy and most of all a Chinese government that relies on state propaganda to control their own citizens so the world was collateral damage essentially.”

The last thing Xi “wanted to do was to reveal to his own citizens that there was a pandemic on its way. And so they withheld information even though the virus began to spread in December. They didn’t announce any national emergency until mid-January. And that was you know obviously a major major issue that the Chinese absolutely failed. Could you imagine if the United States or a Western European democracy had done that – inflicted that much pain in the world?”

China has also forced all major U.S. news agencies out of the country and any information that had come out of China’s main news agencies could not be trusted, according to numerous intelligence officials that have spoken to this reporter.

In the United States the uncertainty over the virus and the economic future has left millions of Americans wondering if they will have a job in the upcoming months. The virus is also revealing failures in our own nation’s national security and medical apparatus as the administration struggles to find solutions to the crisis.

As that happens, the Chinese propaganda machine, is utilizing the virus to strong-arm and bolster its position in the world. For example, China, along with Russia, are further extending their political tentacles into nations like Italy, which have suffered some of the greatest human and economic losses since the outbreak. The Italian government, who have said they were abandoned by the European Union, are now turning to China and Russia for doctors and assistance as the number of sick grow to critical levels.

In France, the Chinese propaganda machine is working to trend #TrumpPandemic across social media, and the communist party has done the same with U.S. social media, as reported.

More importantly, says Hoffman, now is the time to realize that China, and other enemy actors, cannot be trusted and could attempt to use the crisis in the United States to their advantage.

Hoffman, who was stationed overseas in both Pakistan and Russia during his time at the CIA, noted that China’s cult-like rule over its people and central control over its local authorities exacerbated the spread of the virus. He said, for example, China’s National Health Commission did not issue a warning about the outbreak of the virus until Jan. 19, although the government was already well aware of the significant danger and death toll it had taken on the nation.

“I look at everything China’s told us going back to the very beginning has been full of lies,” said Hoffman. “And so anyone who wants to believe that the Chinese have somehow solved this which is what they’re telling the world…I deeply mistrust that and need to verify that.”

Further said Hoffman, in China there are not enough “people we would normally have at our embassy and China’s kicked out our journalists because that’s what scares them.”

“The reason why Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin are such good buddies is because the same thing scares them: democracy,” he added.

SaraACarter.com has also reported that local Chinese citizen journalists have been forced into silence and information that was coming out of the region on social media has been silenced by Xi’s authoritarian regime.

“The question I think for our China watchers I know it in the intelligence community going forward months and years from now: Do Chinese, the ones who were protesting at Tiananmen Square, the brave guy remember standing in front of the tanks, taking those sorts of people to look at this and say this brutal Chinese ruthless dictatorship is not for us, it’s not looking out for the best interests of our people and maybe they stand up and do something about it. That’s what scares China, it really does.”