US 'paying price' for ignoring scientific epidemic prevention with Pompeo's isolation

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/12/17 16:39:28

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Photo: AFP

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has put himself under isolation after coming into contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19. Chinese internet users believe that Pompeo's quarantine and previous White House infections showed that the Trump administration's contempt for scientific epidemic-prevention measures has backfired, and they should be blamed for the 17 million patients in the US.  

A US State Department spokesperson said on Wednesday that Pompeo has tested negative for the virus. The Washington Post said the secretary had canceled a speaking appearance at an indoor party at the State Department on Tuesday.

US media said Pompeo had come under criticism for organizing the party, for which over 900 invitations were sent and less than 70 people accepted, as being a potential "superspreader event."

The US Interior Department Secretary David Bernhardt tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday.

"For the sake of his own political interests and without regard for the lives of the US people, Pompeo has fanned flames everywhere against China… but the political virus looks fragile when faced with the real coronavirus," a Weibo user said on Thursday. 

The topic of "Pompeo begins quarantine" has received over 140 million views on China's Twitter-like Weibo as of press time.  

From the end of September to December 7, at least 53 White House officials or associates and Donald Trump's campaign staffers have tested positive for COVID-19, according to NBC's count. 

Crede Bailey, the director of the White House security office, was the most severely affected among the White House infections. He has recovered after three months in hospital but lost his right foot and lower leg, Bloomberg said. 

Many Chinese netizens believed that Pompeo may not be the last high-profile White House official to face the risk of infection unless they tighten up epidemic-prevention measures, both in the White House and across the country.

"It might be devastating for many US people to see a surge of COVID-19 and that people in the country risk losing their lives, despite the national vaccination project kicking off," said a netizen. 

The Democrats' House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Tuesday that mask-wearing is required in the House of Representatives, and that no members will be recognized to speak unless they're wearing a mask. 

The US reported over 198,000 new cases and 3,000 deaths on Wednesday, bringing the total number of cases and deaths to nearly 17 million and 303,000 respectively, according to Johns Hopkins data. 

The US started its national vaccination drive on Monday, with high-risk healthcare workers and elderly people the first to receive vaccinations. CNN reported that White House officials will also share the limited vaccine supply ahead of the general public, but that plan was later reversed by President Donald Trump amid widespread criticism. 

Global Times


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