US COVID-19 failure too big to conceal

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/3/22 20:43:42

US President Donald Trump makes a statement for the press after a meeting with nursing industry representatives in the Roosevelt Room of the White House about the COVID-19 pandemic on Wednesday in Washington, DC. Photo: AFP

It is a pity to see the US engage in a war of words rather than jointly battle COVID-19 with China when the world is suffering: Tens of thousands of new infected cases were reported on Saturday while Italy reported a record-high single-day death toll of nearly 800.

Novel coronavirus occurred naturally. No matter where it arrives, the victim is mankind. To figure out where the virus started should be the work of scientists, but political reasons such as the approaching US presidential elections have driven politicians to meddle in scientists' affairs. 

On January 24, when China was at a critical time battling the virus, US President Donald Trump praised China's efforts and transparency to contain the coronavirus. On March 13 for the last time, Trump praised China's achievements in battling COVID-19 and appreciated China for cooperating with the US, including sharing of data.

Meanwhile, US State Secretary Mike Pompeo and other politicians repeatedly launched attacks on China's system. It is routine for them.

But changes are taking place. Pompeo and other US officials began intentionally and repeatedly using the terms "Wuhan virus" or "China virus." After Chinese diplomats counterattacked on Twitter, the US side upgraded the accusation, alleging China was responsible for the spread of the virus. 

Trump joined in and changed his tone of appreciation for China. He began blaming China for delaying data sharing with the US, and repeatedly used the term "Chinese virus." 

According to a government cable obtained by The Daily Beast, the White House issues guidelines for how US officials should accuse China of orchestrating a "cover-up" and having a "special responsibility" for the global pandemic. 

The Trump government is weak in steering the country to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, but is adept at launching a fully-motivated public opinion war against China. The root cause is that as the pandemic rages on, the US now ranks third in the world for the number of confirmed cases, a little behind Italy. The death toll in the US surged to at least 326 as of press time. In view of the spreading panic, the White House has no way of turning around the situation and is dependent on passing the buck to China. 

Analysts widely believe that the epidemic in the US will continue to worsen. The life of Americans has been severely impacted. A large number of people have been forced to, or must stay at home out of fear. Times Square, which used to overflow with people, is empty. The US stock market has experienced meltdown four times in 10 days and an economic contraction is almost inevitable. All this translates into political pressure on Trump. 

The Trump administration has therefore launched an anti-China campaign. The White House may believe that anti-China has a large bipartisan support in the US. It's very easy to blame China for US mishandling of the coronavirus epidemic. Even if the results are not as great as they expect, they have nothing to lose. So they have launched all-out efforts to scapegoat China.

But no matter how the Trump administration tries to deceive people, their serious dereliction of duty and the consequences are clear and cannot be veneered. 

There is plenty of evidence showing the US federal government's slowness in dealing with the virus and Trump's downplaying of the epidemic. 

After Europe has been hit hard by COVID-19, the US was next as the White House ignored so many warnings. Its mismanagement is like a scar on the face. 

In addition, as a leader of the Western camp, the US did nothing when its allies like Italy and Spain were suffering a humanitarian crisis. The US shut its doors to Europe. 

Will attacking China shift people's dissatisfaction with the Trump administration? The White House takes this for granted. In confronting rather than cooperating with China in this very crucial period, the Trump administration will fall into a vicious circle of increasing political difficulties. 

Posted in: EDITORIAL

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