US faces ‘darkest moment’

By Chen Qingqing, Liu Caiyu and Zhao Juecheng Source:Global Times Published: 2020/4/29 1:03:40

COVID-19 infections reach 1 million, worst domestic policy debacle




When the US President stands behind the podium again for his daily media briefing with the country's COVID-19 infection cases reaching 1 million, nothing he would say can offset the pain felt by people in the US. No matter how hard he tries to shift the blame to China for the pandemic, those groundless accusations could not hide the fact that the derelict of duty of current US administration has caused the country's biggest domestic disaster. 

The US saw its total number of confirmed coronavirus cases exceed 1 million on Tuesday, a threshold that will be forever remembered as Washington's darkest moment.

As of press time, the US had 1,002,498 confirmed infections, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Data of the past three days showed a daily increase of tens of thousands of new confirmed cases.

Currently, one in every three infection cases worldwide are Americans, but that won't stop the partisan infighting and endless blame game in Washington - a political farce that has led the Trump administration to this dilemma.

It took 50 days for the US to see the number of COVID-19 patients grow from one to 1,000, and only eight days to see the number surge past 10,000 from March 11 to March 19, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. A week later, on March 27, the number of con-firmed cases in the US exceeded 100,000. 

Now the number of confirmed cases has surpassed a million, making the US the first country in the world to reach this threshold. Four major failures of the Trump administration - botched coronavirus response, poor economic performance, partisan struggles and loss of global leadership - have led to a catastrophic outcome and cost a large number of Americans' lives.

A customer sits at the bar as she eats in Moe's Original BBQ restaurant amid the coronavirus pandemic in Atlanta, Georgia on Monday. Some Georgia restaurants reopened on Monday for limited dine-in services as the state loosened more coronavirus restrictions. Photo: AFP

Unprecedented moment 

Few people in the world probably would imagine 100 days ago that the first country to record 1 million infections would be the US, which possesses the most advanced technology and healthcare system. 

Faced with this number, Washington's trick of passing the buck to China turned out to be extremely pale and weak. It also offered a new window for other countries to observe the world's only superpower, Chinese analysts said. It also showed the Trump administration wasted so much time politicizing the epidemic that it failed to respond to it, leading to the worst ever US economic performance. The US political structure, featured by the two-party system, also hindered the government from implementing effective virus-control measures. 

On Tuesday, China recorded six new cases. The total number of existing confirmed cases in China dropped from a peak in daily increased cases of 15,152 on February 12 to six on Tuesday.

Over the past three months, instead of responding to the outbreaks rationally and collectively, the Trump administration has continuously been flip-flopping in its policies, ignoring advice from medical professionals, being willfully blind, but coming up with groundless accusations, xenophobic and racist comments. It has scapegoated the WHO, China, and its domestic political opponents.

An aerial view of the pedestrian intersection at Hollywood Blvd and Highland Ave during morning rush hour on Monday in Los Angeles, California during the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: AFP

The number of confirmed COVID-19 infections in the US is unprecedented, marking the complete failure of the US in combating the epidemic. Its failure is also dragging down the worldwide effort of coping with the pandemic, Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Tuesday. 

The unprecedented number has put Trump into a dilemma, as he had intended to boast his epidemic control victory in the upcoming election. However instead, so many Americans have contracted the virus, which is a complete embarrassment for him and his party, Li said. 

With the US domestic epidemic is reaching such a magnitude, US politicians are engaging in an even fiercer infight - Republicans are trying to dump their responsibility, and Democrats are using this advantage against their rivals. At the same time, both totally ignore the lives and health of Americans, according to some Chinese observers. 

During his press briefing on Monday, Trump again blamed China, saying its delayed response to the epidemic caused "so much unnecessary death." However, more US media outlets have been scrutinizing the Trump administration's failure, which has misread the situation and been overly optimistic in fighting the epidemic.

Claiming that his administration was seriously investigating what happened while hitting out at China is just another example of Trump's guilt for his previous missteps and failure to handle the crisis, forcing him to blame China, analysts said.

The US is also experiencing massive unemployment situation, similar to the Great Depression. If the US cannot control the epidemic in a timely manner, its economy will also see its most serious challenge ever, Li warned. 

"The actions of the current US government are eroding the country's foundation as the world's leader. In the post-epidemic era, the global appeal of the US leadership may see further decline." 

US medical professionals gather to protest for personal protective equipment at UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, California on Monday local time as the mounting infections have strained the country's medical resources and cause tensions between hospitals and medics. The US reported 580,000 infections as of Tuesday, highest in the world. Photo: cnsphoto

Stretched hospitals 

Some US netizens cannot help but wonder what's wrong with the US, which is supposed to have the most advanced technology and healthcare system in the world but has failed to curb the virus spread. Even more ironically, some US states are planning to return to normalcy when the US death toll of coronavirus surpassed the total casualties caused by the Vietnam War. 

Two months ago, US President Donald Trump said, "The virus is going to disappear one day, it's like a miracle, it will disappear." 

One netizen from Texas said on Twitter, "Now we're past 1 million cases… and no end in sight. He's responsible for all those deaths and infections because of his negligence and lying."

Experts believe though the US healthcare system won't be overwhelmed by the outbreak, it might face an overall pressure, putting more patients with underlying diseases in danger. In contrast, some US media believe that the virus will have long-lasting impacts on the US healthcare system, and the most impoverished communities would suffer. 

"Coronavirus might keep those cardiac patients, or those with high blood pressure away from hospitals and clinics, causing more death, which will be more worrisome," Chen Xi, an assistant professor of public health at Yale University, told the Global Times.

 April 28, 2020, when the US recorded 1 million coronavirus infections, might become another "9/11 moment" for the American public as the pain would last longer than the pandemic due to the number of casualties caused by the failed US government response, which would have a far-reaching impact on modern US history, observers said.

Posted in: SOCIETY

blog comments powered by Disqus