Chinese appalled by US’ anti-common sense, failure in COVID-19 education
Published: Jun 29, 2020 07:48 PM

People participate in a movement exercise as a Pride and Black Lives Matter march ends at Loring Park on Sunday in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the US. Photo: AFP

With more than 2.6 million people infected, the US accounts for a quarter of the world's COVID-19 cases. Chinese in the US expressed their confusion at the US government's neglectful attitude and measures in confronting the pandemic, as well as frustration as the number of new infections stays high.

Though the virus has killed almost 130,000 in several months, many people in the US still do not have awareness on the danger of it, the Chinese in the US reached by the Global Times said.

As most states have reopened their economy, many people and vehicles are on the streets. "In the supermarket, I saw adults wearing masks, but they do not put masks on their very young children, like the children could not be infected," said a Chinese man in Ohio who asked to be called Billy.

Billy said he believed the Trump administration does not "educate" or share information with people in the country about the terrible effects of COVID-19 and in fact encourages anti-intellectualism. "Even today many people are ill-informed about the disease."

Billy also blames false appeals to personal liberty and lack of coordination among state-level governments with worsening the situation. "I met some elders who came to me and asked 'where to buy masks,' because they could not find any mask. I felt sympathy," Billy said. "Also, seeing the new cases staying high makes me frustrated."

"Early misguidance by the US government and media led Americans to ignore the epidemic in the first place, leading to a quarter of global infections in the United States today," a 29-year-old Chinese man from Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province surnamed Cheng who has been living in Philadelphia for six years told the Global Time on Sunday.

Early on, the US government promoted COVID-19 as an influenza, and then said only sick people need to wear masks, Cheng said, adding that under that circumstance, Asians wearing masks on the street were stared at and experienced racism linked to the virus.

In the early days, the US only grounded flights from China, but flights from Europe and South America remained normal, causing the spread of the virus, he noted.

More than 350,000 Chinese students study in the US. The pandemic has affected their academic career, especially those poised to graduate.

Zhang Mo, a student in Georgia, said that her university, a public school, is financially impacted by the pandemic. "Professors are forced to be on leave without pay," she said.

Zhang also found people in the US around her do not pay much attention to the virus. A taxi driver once told her that he drinks a kind of "tea tree oil" imported from Australia that could kill the virus.