OPINION / VIEWPOINT
If there is a ‘no shame ranking,’ the US would definitely top list
Published: Jul 13, 2021 09:28 PM
Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

In Bloomberg's latest COVID-19 resilience ranking under the title "The best and worst places to be as the world finally reopens," the US jumped to the No.1 spot for the first time as "the best place to be during the pandemic."

Undoubtedly, this report makes a mockery of all independent, impartial and objective polls around the world. It is based on arbitrary research that meets certain elite groups and political standards - regardless of authority. The result of this kind of investigation is clear. It's fake. It's a political operation no doubt. It's an investigation that makes people laugh and inevitably damages Bloomberg's reputation.

In terms of the effectiveness of its response to the epidemic, the US simply cannot face up to the reality compared with China's performance in the battle against coronavirus. However, Washington cannot admit that its system is inferior to that of China in handling public health crisis. So it tries to make up for its reputation, hyping things up in public opinion. And that's what exactly Bloomberg does. 

The report is the latest indictment that Bloomberg is still living in a decades-old dream - when American media dominated international opinion and possessed the ability to set the tone of global media outlets. Hardly could they imagine that the world now has various sources for media reports 

A ranking like this in Bloomberg's is disgusting. It makes more people realize the absurdity of the US media's logic: The death toll of the US is much higher, so the US contributed more to the fight against the pandemic. Isn't it ridiculous?

Compiling such a list is clearly a breach of professional ethics. It is a slander of the credibility of the world's public opinion, and more importantly, the Western media's abuse of their own power of discourse. The confidence of the US media in their rumor-mongering ability actually reflects a toxic culture of US public opinion. 

The ranking has had varied standards at different stages. These shoddy standards, designed by Bloomberg, are ludicrous: including vaccination rates, lockdown severity, flight capacity, and so on. Categories seem to be sometimes removed or added in accordance with the needs of Washington political fixers. 

Because American media narratives are subjective, they tend to start making up stories with predetermined political or value preferences. In fact, it seems that US media outlets have little interest in how to relieve the American people from the epidemic as soon as possible. They are more concerned with how to continue to deceive the voters in the following elections.

Bloomberg made America number one above all other countries in COVID-19 resilience ranking - at the cost of its reputation. Why did it do so? Is it afraid of the US system losing its appeal? Is this because US media elites hope to save face for their government's poor anti-epidemic performance by abusing their discourse power? 

Such an operation that deviates from the facts will only backfire.   

What is behind the absurd ranking? Nothing more than the degeneration of the US. Regardless of its so bad anti-epidemic performance, it is packaging what is ugly as beautiful. 

The epidemic fight is a highly political issue in the US. Under the US electoral system, the epidemic has been made an issue of by both political parties. American media outlets have also made themselves a tool of US partisan struggle given their obvious political inclination. This proves that US public opinion is too far away from the truth, freedom and independence. 

The US knows well that public opinion is of great strategic importance. Whether Washington can control public opinion will to a large extent affect how the US plays a global role. Therefore, the US manipulates public opinion - the truth is being looked down upon and the demands of the public ignored. 

Because non-Western countries had weak discourse power in the past, the US and other Western countries often succeeded in manipulating public opinion. 

But this time, we must say Bloomberg's operation is very clumsy. Time has changed. The development of social media has made it easy to tear down lies. It must be pointed out that Washington will be unable to use its narrative advantage to control with a globalized social media.  

On Bloomberg's ranking, the US and its allies are at the top. But Argentina, which recently moves closer toward China, is at the bottom. People could easily see through such a political maneuver. 

If Bloomberg makes a "countries with no shame ranking," the US will of course top the list. And it well deserves it.

The author is a professor at the Institute of International Relations of the China Foreign Affairs University. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn
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