Disrespect for science hurts US’ COVID-19 battle

By Li Qingqing Source:Global Times Published: 2020/5/11 20:22:57

US President Donald Trump (left) participates in a tour of a Honeywell International plant that manufactures personal protective equipment in Phoenix, Arizona on May 5, 2020. Photo: AFP

It seems that the COVID-19 epidemic has captured the US. There have been confirmed COVID-19 cases among close contacts of US President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. Three top US health chiefs have all entered self-quarantine, including top infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci. Whether Trump and Pence should be quarantined has become a thorny issue for the White House. This shows the US' systematic mistakes during its COVID-19 fight, and there are serious prevention and control loopholes.

During the US' politicized virus fight, the country has been blindly arrogant and hesitant, and this has led to its current situation today. Since January, the US has wasted too much time downplaying the COVID-19 threat, hyping conspiracy theories about China, escalating bipartisan disputes, and demonizing mask-wearing. The US fight against ' COVID-19 fight is chaotic.

And the key problem is that after these chaotic months, the US still has not formed a consensus on how to fight the epidemic, the origin of the virus and when the economy should be restarted. Washington's tediously long progress of discussion and decision-making has dragged the US behind when the COVID-19 fight requires timely and effective measures.

Many American people, including Trump, show no respect to science and do not treat the epidemic seriously. For example, Trump once suggested injecting disinfectants into the human body to kill the virus and some had believed him and did what Trump had said. Also, many people in the US firmly believe the ridiculous conspiracy theory that the COVID-19 is related with 5G technology. Surprisingly, under the Trump administration, the world-leading country in science and education is showing a rising trend of anti-intellectualism.

Because of the US' mistakes, even those working in the White House have been infected, and there are still some 20,000 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases in the US every day. This being the case, the Trump administration is still calling for the resumption of production and restarting the economy, regardless of the risk that more people will be infected in the near future. For example, former New Jersey governor Chris Christie said on May 4 that the US should reopen its economy because "there are going to be deaths no matter what," claiming that it is a "sacrifice" Americans must make for their way of life.

This sounds absurd, really absurd. Why should people's lives be "sacrificed" when there are safer ways to restore consumer confidence, such as the government's effective protection for public safety? How many American people are willing to "sacrifice" their lives for the country's economy? What has happened to democracy and human rights?

The US has been considered the world's only superpower and it is shocking to see the country falling into today's situation. The US must realize the consequence of not respecting science and not facing the epidemic squarely. After all, the COVID-19 will not think there is anything special about the US system.

Posted in: OBSERVER

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