Statistics speak louder, Trump’s accusation over China’s incompetence in handling virus contrary to fact: Chinese FM

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/6/1 18:35:54

US President Donald Trump speaks during a Coronavirus Task Force press briefing at the White House in Washington, DC. Photo: AFP

China's Foreign Ministry rebuked US President Donald Trump's accusation that the world suffers from COVID-19 because of China's malfeasance, saying that the allegation disrespects Chinese people's efforts and sacrifice in their fight against the pandemic and statistics from the two countries' battle against the virus speak for themselves.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, China has adopted the most comprehensive, strict and thorough measures to stop the virus from spreading, and cut the chain of transmission, said Zhao Lijian, spokesperson for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, citing scientific journal Science's publication that said China's control measures during the first 50 days of the COVID-19 epidemic may have delayed the spread of the virus to cities outside of Wuhan by several days and prevented more than 700,000 infections nationwide.

Meanwhile, the US has recorded more than 1.8 million infections and over 100,000 coronavirus deaths so far, 722 times higher than China's numbers, said Zhao. He also quoted a New York Times report as saying the delayed response from the US government cost 36,000 lives, and if the government had taken measures two weeks earlier, 83 percent of US coronavirus deaths could have been avoided. 

"Who [China or US] is incompetent? Who has failed in virus prevention? Let the figures speak for themselves," said Zhao, at a Monday press conference. 

Zhao's response came after Trump said on Friday that "China's cover-up of the Wuhan virus allowed the disease to spread all over the world, instigating a global pandemic that has claimed over 100,000 American lives and infected over a million lives worldwide."

"I don't know if it was incompetence or it was done for some other reason. They stopped it from going to China, but they didn't stop it from going to the rest of the world," he added.

Zhao said that facts are the best rebuke to Trump's accusation: China imposed a lockdown in Wuhan on January 23, with no commercial flights allowed into or out of the city from January 24 to April 8.

The US also suspended direct flights between China and the US since January 31, and banned Chinese nationals, along with foreigners who travelled to China in the last 14 days, from entering the US, said Zhao.

According to an open report, it was US travelers who brought the virus to Canada, and the source of France's outbreak remains unclear, while imported cases from China account for less than one tenth of those from other countries to Singapore. 

The US is still ravaged by the virus, and it is urgent for the US government to save lives, and passing the buck to China does nothing to beat the coronavirus, Zhao said. 

Global Times

Posted in: DIPLOMACY

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