China releases human rights report over US failure to handle epidemic

By Zhao Yusha Source:Global Times Published: 2020/6/11 21:31:45

Protesters run away when police move forward near the White House during a protest over the death of George Floyd in Washington D.C., the United States, on May 30, 2020. Demonstrations and riots have spread to cities across the United States after a video went viral of George Floyd being suffocated to death by a white police officer in the midwest U.S. state of Minnesota on May 25. (Xinhua/Liu Jie)

China on Thursday published a US Human Rights report, revealing deep-rooted problems highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic, as the number of infections in the US surpassed two million and the country has been thrown into chaos by protests.

The China Society for Human Rights Studies on Thursday published an article titled "The COVID-19 Pandemic Magnifies the Crisis of 'U.S.-Style Human Rights'."

The US government's self-interested, short-sighted, inefficient, and irresponsible response to the pandemic has caused a tragedy in which more than 2 million Americans have become infected with the virus and more than 110,000 have died from it, the article said.

It has exposed the long-existing and now deteriorating problems in the US, such as a divisive society, the polarization between the rich and the poor, racial discrimination, and the inadequate protection of the rights and interests of vulnerable groups, the article said.

"This has led the American people to grave human rights disasters," it read.

However, such a human right disaster has not led to wide criticism from so-called human rights fighters, such as Human Rights Watch, who were most vocal about China's human rights problems, said Zhang Yonghe, professor and executive dean of the Human Rights Institution of Southwest University of Political Science and Law in Chongqing.

Zhang said it is their indulgence toward the US that blinded the world about its negligence toward its own human rights problems. "Now, China needs to tear up the cover and show the world how US-style human rights are."

The article pointed out that the US government has ignored pandemic warnings, prioritized capital interests and politicized anti-pandemic efforts in its COVID-19 response.

It also said the US government has been passing the buck of its missteps in tackling the virus to other countries, sidelining medical experts and using their energy in political battles and infighting between parties. 

"It is sad and unfortunate that some in the West, notably the US, seem keen to weaponize the pandemic for political pursuits through 'China-bashing,' as they do on human rights," Zhang said. 

It also pointed out the wide wealth gap and the inequality that exists between wealthy and poor groups, which have been magnified by the pandemic. For example, rich people have access to special channels to get tested, while the poor are not only unable to afford the medical expenses, but have also descended into an existential crisis, as many have lost their jobs during the pandemic. 

The website of The Atlantic reported in April 2020 that low-income people in the US would usually delay seeing a doctor when they get sick, not because they did not want to recover, but because they had no money.

"There will be many diseases and other crisis ahead, and every country needs to decide how to protect human rights and their people in those crises," said Zhang, noting that facts will determine their performance. 

Newspaper headline: China releases US human rights report


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