New York Times front page denounces Trump’s failure in virus battle

By Wang Qi and Zhao Yusha Source:Global Times Published: 2020/5/24 21:08:40

Picture of entire front page of Sunday's New York Times.

The entire front page of Sunday's New York Times, which listed 1,000 coronavirus victims, served as a powerful demonstration of US President Donald Trump's failure in handling the pandemic and an emotional manifestation of his administration's neglect of its own people's lives, Chinese observers noted on Sunday.

Headlined "U.S. Deaths Near 100,000, an Incalculable Loss," with a sub-headline "They Were Not Simply Names on a List. They Were Us," the front page is filled with the names, ages and occupations of those who died of the coronavirus in the US, as the country's death toll approaches 100,000. 

Such a statement was rare for the New York Times, which devoted a special "Portraits of Grief" page for the victims of the September 11 attacks in 2001. 

A picture of the front page trended on social media, with anger and grief directed at the Trump administration for its missteps in handling the pandemic. 

The president arrived at his golf club in Sterling, Virginia on Saturday, where he was pictured playing a round, media reported.  

Maybe Donald Trump "will get a copy of the @nytimes when he is golfing over the weekend?" posted Twitter user Victor d'Allant. 

Hashtag "New York Times dedicated whole front page to listing 1,000 coronavirus victims' information" was viewed nearly 30 million times on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo platform as of press time. 

Many internet users paid tribute to the victims and others whose name could not be listed and said the US administration should be nailed on the pillar of shame for eternity.

Li Haidong, a professor at the institute of international relations of China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing, told the Global Times Sunday that the New York Times was protesting against Trump and calling on the government to care about people's health and safety as the country's death toll approaches 100,000. 

"The move is the unusual but understandable reaction of people with conscience, which conveys the strong anger of the American people over Trump's incompetence and selfishness," Li said.

According to US media, Trump went to play golf on Saturday as US deaths approached the grim milestone of 100,000. 

Some critics said Trump's golfing was not only inappropriate, but "criminal negligence." 

Trump's epidemic response, such as it is, has failed, as he is incapable of stopping more people from getting infected and dying, Li said. 

"The American people are miserable amid the epidemic, and their president is an eccentric who does not care about the safety of ordinary people and is good at passing the buck," Li said.

Many analysts have noted the epidemic in the US might not end before the US election, and Trump's repeated emphasis on  work resumption would not take off as long as the coronavirus enjoys freedom to spread. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Friday that new outbreaks were "inevitable" in the US with lax measures unless the Trump administration conducted stricter measures like testing, quarantine and contact tracing. 

Nine states are conducting such measures or near to conducting, the minimum recommended testing, according to a Harvard University study. 

Ni Feng, director of the institute of American studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, told the Global Times the death notice of COVID-19 victims on the New York Times' front page could "deal a fatal blow to Trump's re-election" as most of the names on the front page were elderly people, his potential voters. 

The elderly are always conservative, and thus most are potentially Trump's voters, Ni opined. 

The voter turnout of the elderly is also higher than young people, said Ni, noting Trump's behavior will make the firmest supporters change their mind, "facing the crisis of life."

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