In new low, Pompeo passes buck to Beijing

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/3/8 22:43:40

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

The defenses of the US against the coronavirus are being breached. By Sunday noon Beijing time, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the US reached 445 with the death toll rising to 19. And 19 crew members and two passengers on the Grand Princess cruise ship tested positive for the coronavirus. An increasing number of US people are feeling anxious. The state of New York on Saturday declared a state of emergency.

Instead of devoting energy to strengthening their country's defenses against the virus, some US politicians are keen to blame China and pass the buck to Beijing. Their actions reflect their lack of confidence in the US handling of the epidemic. These elites hope to stigmatize China and are preparing to pass the buck.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blatantly called the novel coronavirus "Wuhan virus" or "Wuhan coronavirus" in his speeches for two consecutive days on Thursday and Friday. The World Health Organization (WHO) has publicly discouraged labeling the virus with names referring to specific places, and most political figures and media outlets across the world have followed WHO's recommendations. Moreover, it has not yet been determined where the coronavirus originated. Naming it "Wuhan virus" is scientifically groundless and morally irresponsible.

As the chief US diplomat, Pompeo insisted on speaking of the "Wuhan virus" despite the opposition of WHO and international public opinion, in an attempt to arouse resentment among those affected countries against China. Pompeo's move not only exposes malicious US intentions toward China without regard to common sense, but also hits a new low in his personal conduct.

In addition to labeling the virus, Pompeo also accused China of giving "imperfect" data to the US, which was "incredibly frustrating" and "has led us now to a place where much of the challenge we face today has put us behind the curve." His speaking of the "Wuhan virus" was rude and vicious, and the accusation was ridiculous. WHO has more than once praised China for providing the world with transparent information. What kind of special information does Pompeo want?

The Chinese government has been releasing detailed data on the epidemic situation every single day. All measures taken by China, from the lockdown of Wuhan to the management of each societal community, have been made public. Public opinion's reflections on the outbreak can also be seen by the outside world. After more than a month since China sounded the alarm, what has China done that was not so transparent that has led the US to a failure to take necessary steps?

US senator Rick Scott also published an article in the New York Times, claiming that "Communist China cannot be trusted." If that is the case, please trust experts in your own country and in Europe. They have long warned that the coronavirus outbreak in the US is inevitable. But US politicians have neglected these warnings.

US President Donald Trump repeatedly stated that the risk to the US from the coronavirus was "very low." It is true that the US was the first to cut off flights with China. But what else did Washington do to prepare for the epidemic? On the just-passed Super Tuesday, both US political parties held campaign rallies where crowds congregated. And 2,500 passengers of the Grand Princess landed without any quarantine measures. Among them some were tested positive and a few died. Can the US blame any other parties outside its own borders for these deaths?

China has not instructed the US about what to do, and no Chinese official has ever said a word in this regard. But Pompeo and other US officials have accused China from time to time and have blamed China for the outbreak in the US. Their unspoken words are: The outbreak in the US is not our fault, but China's.

Pompeo represents a group of US politicians who are neither capable nor competent. They have no strategy for governing a large country like the US,so they keep stirring up trouble against other countries and resorting to unorthodox tactics to seek political success. Time will give them a lesson.

Posted in: EDITORIAL

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