US unqualified to lead global pandemic fight: Global Times editorial
Published: May 13, 2022 11:49 PM
Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

The second Global COVID-19 Summit co-hosted by the US and several other countries by video link convened on Thursday. US President Joe Biden addressed the summit with recorded remarks saying that "we mark a tragic milestone here in the United States: one million COVID deaths." The failure of the US' epidemic fight is shocking, which constitutes a sharp contrast to the "US leadership" it deliberately portrayed at the COVID summit. 

Any effort that could help the international community combat the pandemic in solidarity and in a scientific manner is supposed to be welcomed, but it's regrettable for the world to see Washington still politicizing the pandemic even if the virus continues raging and the US epidemic fight has seriously failed. The US had insisted on inviting the island of Taiwan to participate in the summit, politicizing the stage that should have belonged to science. This once again shows that the US' interest in provoking confrontation and conflicts and profiting from it is far greater than its interest in taking more practical obligations and responsibilities to bring countries together to tackle common challenges.

Some White House officials claimed that the US helped raise over $3.1 billion in commitments to the international pandemic response and would contribute an additional $200 million to a global health fund. It's fair to say this has gone beyond expectations compared to the outside world's previous prediction that the US is likely to attend the summit "with empty hands." The White House prior to the summit requested $22.5 billion in emergency funding to continue the COVID-19 response - including $5 billion to fight the global pandemic, which was shelved by Congress. The "internal checks and balances" is a reason, but who knows if the White House and Congress had a tacit understanding from the very beginning? The so-called demand for funding the global pandemic fight was originally an illusion to deceive the world. 

Of course, Washington is "generous," in the sense that it has been continuously exporting "political viruses" to the world. Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic, instead of focusing on controlling the situation and saving lives, Washington has engaged in political manipulation that violates science and undermines unity. It even ordered intelligence agencies to cook up a virus origins-tracing report in an attempt to shift the blame on China for its own botched COVID-19 response. Under the manipulation of US politicians, the tricks to politicize the pandemic are innovating and the "political viruses" are constantly "mutating."

As the country with the most abundant medical resources and advanced medical technologies, the US is supposed to play a bigger role in the global pandemic fight. However, it is well-known that being a leader must first have the will to serve others wholeheartedly and abandon selfish considerations; second, a leader should set an example and lead by example. It has to be said that the US has performed extremely poorly in both aspects. A lagging-behind student cannot be appealing until he improves his anti-epidemic results. It's even more disgusting that the US exploits global public health issues to serve its selfish needs.

Perhaps due to its guilt conscience, US media was lowering the public's expectations before the summit, saying that compared with the first one, the second may see smaller-scale targeted commitments and actions. In fact, the US has not even fulfilled most of its promises at the first summit. Washington boasted that it had provided a lot of COVID-19 vaccines to foreign countries, and listed a series of eye-catching figures in its summary report. But a considerable number of COVID-19 vaccines donated to developing countries are close to expiring. But even such a so-called donation is not free, and has many political conditions attached.

Some African media outlets straightforwardly pointed out that while the US is trying to politicize the COVID-19, China is providing vaccines to developing countries. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, China has not only taken the lead in proposing the concept of a community of common health for mankind, but was also the first to declare vaccines as global public goods, supplying more than 2.2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines to more than 120 countries and international organizations. When the global pandemic is raging, Washington knows in its heart which country is contributing to the global fight against COVID-19, and which country is using the pandemic to engage in political manipulation, and others can see it as well.

Although Washington is good at politicizing the pandemic, we still want to remind it that most countries, regions and international organizations that attended the summit were to seek solutions, not to celebrate US hegemony. It is impossible for Washington to gain the US "global leadership" with empty talk.