US senator’s WHO request is all about politics

By Zhou Qing Source:Global Times Published: 2020/2/13 20:58:43

Illustration: Luo Xuan/GT

US Senator Rick Scott earlier this week sent a letter to the World Health Organization (WHO), requesting an "independent analysis" of the novel coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19) outbreak in China and questioning the safety of Chinese products. His biased views will not stand up to criticism and are nothing but political posturing.

In the letter, Senator Scott advocated that China cannot be trusted, implying the official number of confirmed cases and fatality rate are not reliable. He also tried to sabotage Chinese trade with the US by questioning "how long the virus can persist on inanimate surfaces so we can ensure that products and produce coming from China are not harmful to our citizens."

However, China deserves more credit than it has been given. The country has been trying to provide the most accurate and transparent assessment of the COVID-19 epidemic. Central China's Hubei Province reported over 14,000 new confirmed cases on Thursday, the majority of which were clinically diagnosed cases rather than those diagnosed through nucleic acid testing. That has shown China is trying to examine the situation through lenses by including clinical diagnosis as a standard for confirmation in the epicenter Hubei, and it is by no means underreporting the confirmed cases.

The WHO has recognized China's effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. Despite its declaration of a public health emergency of international concern, the organization has expressed its opposition to any restrictions on travel and trade with China. 

The COVID-19 outbreak is a disaster and a challenge for China, but also for the world. China is willing to communicate and cooperate with the WHO and international community. Chinese authorities have reiterated many times that the US is welcome to join the WHO's joint expert team to evaluate the COVID-19 epidemic in China.

Medical experts said worries that the virus can sustain itself on inanimate surfaces are "completely unnecessary," because they believe that the coronavirus is hardly to survive for longer than 30 minutes on object surfaces. Fears surrounding Chinese products are entirely unscientific. 

China's delivery services have never stopped despite city lockdowns and mass quarantines at home. Moreover, as companies in China return to work, growing numbers of packages are being delivered. Thus far, there have been no reported cases of infection via packages or other delivered products. Both Chinese and US customs will enforce inspection and quarantine standards for imported and exported goods. As the world's major exporter and importer, China will act responsibly to protect everyone involved.

China's stance as an open, transparent and responsible country amid the COVID-19 outbreak has not changed. An advance team of WHO experts arrived in China on Monday night to conduct in-depth discussions and evaluations of the COVID-19 epidemic and containment. Rick Scott, a proponent of anti-China rhetoric with a low approval rating, has chosen his moment to sow fear and antipathy toward China. His questioning of China's efforts to contain the virus is nothing but political posturing. 

We believe WHO experts will provide fair and objective reports following their evaluation, and that it will quiet those who have spoken out baselessly against China. 

The author is a reporter with the Global Times.


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