US No.1 failure in anti-epidemic fight: think tanks
Published: Aug 09, 2021 11:13 PM Updated: Aug 10, 2021 12:08 AM
US national flags representing the 200,000 lives lost to COVID-19 in the United States are placed on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the United States, on Sep 22, 2020. US COVID-19 deaths surpassed 200,000 on Tuesday, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.Photo:Xinhua

US national flags representing the 200,000 lives lost to COVID-19 in the United States are placed on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the United States, on Sep 22, 2020. US COVID-19 deaths surpassed 200,000 on Tuesday, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.Photo:Xinhua

Does the US rank No.1 in COVID-19 resilience? A report jointly issued by three Chinese think tanks on Monday unveiled the truth of America's fight against the coronavirus, which indicates that the US deserves to be the world's No.1 anti-pandemic failure, apart from being the No.1 political blaming country, No.1 pandemic spreader country, No.1 political division country, No.1 currency abuse country, No.1 pandemic period turmoil country, No.1 disinformation country and No.1 origins-tracing terrorism country. 

Fueled by the Delta variant, the US has been registering new record-high infection numbers in recent days, and with the resurgence of COVID-19 cases, the spike has also sparked fears of more unvaccinated groups becoming vulnerable to the highly contagious new variant and more children falling ill as the school year approaches. With miserable scenes such as shortages of ICU beds and more hospitalized children emerging in coverage from US media outlets, senior US officials are starting to reflect on the missteps that led to America failing in the fight against the pandemic. 

A 23,000-word report has been released in Chinese, English, Spanish and French, and is also the first to comprehensively show the truth about the US anti-epidemic fight, based on rigorous studies, objective and factual data from US research institutes, media outlets and politicians, Wang Wen, executive dean of the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China (RDCY), told a press conference on Monday. 

The report was also published after US media outlet Bloomberg ranked the US No.1 in terms of COVID-19 resilience on June 28, which was mocked as a joke, as it has become crystal clear to the public that the US performance in fighting the pandemic has disappointed the world, and not only thrown the American people into a crisis but also had a devastating impact on the overall global response. 

Entitled "The Truth about America's Fight against COVID-19", the report analyzed five major aspects regarding the US' failure in its response to the pandemic, including its highly politicized partisanship, its anti-science and abnormal measures in epidemic prevention and control; the growing social inequality exacerbated by the pandemic and its willful destruction of global resistance to the pandemic.

The US deserves to be called the world's number one in eight aspects: failure in anti-pandemic response, political blaming, pandemic spreading, political division, currency abuse, pandemic period turmoil, disinformation, and origins-tracing terrorism, according to the report. 

A series of figures also indicated how bad the current situation is amid the rampaging Delta variant in the US: its seven-day average of daily cases reached more than 107,100 as of Friday, the highest average in nearly six months, according to Johns Hopkins University data; more than 66,000 Americans were hospitalized as of late Saturday; the number of children contracting COVID-19 has increased fivefold since the end of June; the Delta variant made up 93 percent of all sequenced cases in the US and 2,800 counties across the US are experiencing either "substantial" or "high" transmission rates, according to US media reports. 

Illustration: Xu Zihe/Global Times

Illustration: Xu Zihe/Global Times

A failed country 

During the past half year, the US has been shirking its responsibility, with almost no single US official attempting to rethink the US' epidemic situation or none resigning over their failure in combating the epidemic, while this report serves to draw lessons from the US' failure and prevent them from happening in the future and calling for solidarity to fight the epidemic, Wang told the Global Times when asked about the purpose of the report. 

The COVID-19 pandemic is a human disaster causing significant casualties and major public crises around the world, and objective and factual records about such a crisis are needed, the Chinese scholar noted. "We have to track and show the truth about the US anti-epidemic work… Several years from now, when people look back and say the US was the No.1 in COVID-19 response, it would be ridiculous," he said. 

The world recorded over 202 million COVID-19 cases as of press time on Monday, with a death toll of 4.3 million, according to real-time data from Johns Hopkins. The US ranked as the top country with the highest number of confirmed infections of more than 35 million and the highest death toll of 616,829. 

William Jones, Washington Bureau Chief for the Executive Intelligence Review (EIR), attributed the failure to contain the virus spread in the US to the continuous politicization of the pandemic since President Joe Biden took office in January, despite making epidemic prevention and control a priority.  . 

In contrast to China's distribution of millions of vaccine doses worldwide, the Biden administration boasted that the US, not China, would become the main distributor of vaccines globally, working overtime in order to catch up, which they still have not done, Jones noted at the press conference. 

"Strongly politically divided in the last election, much of the nation believes that accepting the need for prophylactic measures in fighting the virus would be a sell-out of [President] Trump's program. So they refuse to wear masks or avoid crowds and even refuse to get vaccinated, while Trump himself is still there on the sidelines, goading them on," he said. 

"The attempt by the US government and the Western media to claim that the US has done more to fight the virus than any other country is absolutely ludicrous," Jones added. 

While US National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins was quoted as saying in a report on Sunday that the US "should not really have ever gotten in the place we are," Chinese scholars said the US has not learned from past experiences in fighting the current Delta rampage. Meanwhile, China has been constantly summarizing the past experiences in fighting the virus, optimizing its response and enhancing management by punishing officials responsible for the loopholes in the anti-epidemic work. 

More than 30 officials in four epidemic-hit provinces have been punished for their slack response and ineffective management in dealing with the latest COVID-19 outbreaks across China as of Sunday, including a vice mayor, district leaders, heads of the local health commissions, hospital management staff and officials from the airport and tourism sector.

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Origins-tracing terrorism country

While exporting the virus to the world, the US has also turned the global public health disaster into a major power model wrestling match by politicizing scientific issues such as the anti-pandemic model, the origins-tracing of the pandemic and the effectiveness of vaccines, shifting the blame to the outside world and misleading the international community, the report said. 

Former US President Trump is probably the biggest promoter of COVID-19 misinformation, as by May 26, 2020, he was mentioned in about 38 percent of the English-language media's fake reports on COVID-19, it said. 

The Biden administration had intended to reshape the image of the US as a responsible power under the banner of "America is back," but actually lacks respect for science in many aspects, including the tracing of virus origins. The administration is not only refusing to conduct multi-point and multi-dimensional tracing around the world but also has rekindled the "lab leak theory" hype soon after taking office for political gain.

CNN reported on Friday that US intelligence agencies are digging through a treasure trove of genetic data from the Wuhan Institute of Virology that could be key to uncovering the origins of the coronavirus as soon as they can decipher it. This tactic of coordinating with intelligence agencies to sway public opinion before quickly announcing a conclusion to a so-called US investigation in order to frame the lab in Wuhan has already been denounced by Chinese diplomats, experts and scientists around the world. 

Biden came up with this 90-day so-called scientific probe due to continued attacks from the Republicans, a foreign expert close to the WHO-led investigation team told the Global Times on condition of anonymity in an interview in May, referring to a highly politicized campaign in the US related to the question of origins-tracing. 

Geopolitics has usurped science, and COVID-19 is now mired in a sort of "Cold War" rhetoric, "Cold War" language, and "Cold War" assault by the US, and this is going to continue, Martin Jacques, a Former Senior Fellow from Cambridge University, said at the report-release meeting via video link on Monday.

Researchers from those think tanks called on the US to allow an international team of experts organized by the WHO to conduct site visits and investigations of relevant biological laboratories in the US to effectively advance scientific tracing efforts and dispel external questions about the lack of transparency in the US.

A Chinese petition, which a group of Chinese netizens drafted and entrusted the Global Times to post on social media, received half a million signatures in 24 hours and one million in 48 hours when it was put online on July 17, calling for a probe into the US' Fort Detrick biolab, which stores dangerous infectious viruses and had a record of a leak in 2019 just before the pandemic.  

It concluded on Friday 12pm after garnering 25 million signatures in three weeks, which was considered the loudest call representing broad public opinion.

How has the US become a “failed country in fighting the pandemic?”. Graphic: Zhao Jun/GT

How has the US become a “failed country in fighting the pandemic?”. Graphic: Zhao Jun/GT

COVID-19 did not break America. It revealed what was already broken.

COVID-19 did not break America. It revealed what was already broken.