US government loses decency under virus panic

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/3/19 23:48:40

US President Donald Trump answers a question during the daily briefing on the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, at the White House on Wednesday in Washington, DC. Photo: AFP

US President Donald Trump has been repeatedly and deliberately using the term "Chinese virus," which is considered racist. This shows that Trump and his team are panicking and misbehaving. They have not found any good way to take the pandemic and the market sentiment under control. As a result, they wantonly escalated conflicts with China, trying to escape Americans' questions  over their incompetence, making China a target of their anger.

Previously, Trump was seen as reasonable for not blaming China for the serious epidemic in the US. It was mainly US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and certain US congressmen who have been firing on China. Yet, the recent quick spread of the pandemic in the US is making Trump, who used to reiterate the risks were low in the US, very awkward. US stocks were falling, constantly triggering "Trump circuit breakers". This is a heavy blow to Trump, which destroyed his economic achievements, which he has been most proud of and was counting on it to seek a second term in the Oval Office. Trump is really panicking.

Some believe it is the tweets of Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian that irritated Trump. On March 12, Zhao questioned the US on Twitter and raised the possibility that it was the US army that brought the virus to Wuhan last October. But Zhao only raised the question and demanded the US explain on his personal Twitter account, not on a diplomatic occasion. This is not on par with US politicians like Pompeo who used "New virus" and "Chinese virus" to smear China.

And here came Trump. There must have been elements of a show through which means he passes the buck to China so that the Americans will just find fault with China instead of blaming the incompetence of his administration.

Some Republicans and radical China hawks have been utilizing the US media system to help Trump administration. They demanded China to be held accountable for US losses, including suing the Chinese government for compensation. 

Washington's behavior of passing the buck to China is political hooliganism. Among world leaders, only Trump and politicians like Pompeo are blathering on about "Chinese virus" or "New virus," blaming China for their own incompetence in the pandemic fight. The WHO has explicitly opposed linking the virus to specific countries and regions. The pandemic situation in many European and Asian countries is more severe than that in the US, yet none of them blamed China like the US. On the contrary, China has made huge sacrifices to bring the pandemic under control within its borders. It has gained time for the world. This is the official recognition of WHO, and it has hardly been disputed across the globe other than the US.

More and more countries are recognizing and learning from China's methods in the fight against the virus. The phased victory in China is inspiring hard-hit countries which are now in difficult times. Only Washington is still hysterically discrediting China.

Some US political elites are not only indulging in a geopolitical mind-set, their attitude toward China and other foreign countries have also been twisted. When China suffered from the epidemic, they were relatively calm. But when their country was hit by the virus, they just had no manners and became hysterical. 

Trump's words are self-contradicting. Not long ago he praised China's anti-virus effort and thanked China for data sharing and cooperation. But he took a U-turn in his attitude by using "Chinese virus" and complaining that China did not disclose early reports about the virus to the US.

There are reasons to believe the pandemic situation in the US and continued meltdown of the US stock market have prompted the Trump administration to make a major strategy - making China a scapegoat.

We'd like to remind the US administration that its action is dangerous. Trump and his team must attentively fight the virus. Passing the buck to China will only deceive themselves instead of the American people. They would question the White House: What were you doing when China's anti-virus fight won the world enough time to prepare? Does the virus really pose so low risk that there is no need to panic, as you have claimed?

Posted in: EDITORIAL

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