By Ye Shuhong
The US is facing mounting pressure over prevention and control of the COVID-19 as the pandemic wreaks havoc around the world. The latest statistics show that the US has had more than 19,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases cumulatively and more than 200 deaths. The White House tried to play down the outbreak at first and only woke up to its severity recently. Its mishandling has aggravated the situation, said an article published on POLITICO, a Washington-based website and newspaper that focuses on American politics.
In the face of such a global public health emergency, a responsible government should be focused on dealing with the crisis, but certain American politicians and media chose to shift the blame on China at this critical moment. They used the language “Chinese virus”, spread rumors of “virus made-in-China”, and brazenly demanded compensation from China, aiming to instigate xenophobia and racism, shift the focus of public opinions, and find excuses for their misconduct and incompetence.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a global test. As a major world power, the US’ capability of coping with the crisis is not doubted, and much hope is placed on it to join the international efforts against the virus. However, certain US politicians and media, turning a deaf ear to the international call for solidarity and cooperation, adhere to their Cold War mentality of criticizing or opposing everything China proposes. Being led ever farther astray by their narrow nationalism and ideological prejudice, they have lost one score after another in this global test.
First, the US is losing scores in “international morality”. Ever since the pandemic broke out, China has launched an all-out war against it, making immense sacrifices and efforts to buy time for the world to prepare. But Washington has not only laid back with folded arms without heeding the WHO’s call for solidarity, but also faked the gesture of providing aid by paying lip service. Furthermore, US senior officials have wasted no time in smearing the Chinese system at international conferences, advocating the flow-back of American manufacturing jobs because of the epidemic, and doubting the integrity of WHO. Such actions of taking advantage of a country’s adversity are against international morality.
Second, the US is losing scores in “international responsibility as a major country”. Washington is lambasted for downplaying the epidemic and its retarded response, which the US website The Atlantic attributed to bureaucracy, information non-transparency, and wrong decisions. But some American officials, instead of reflecting on their mistakes and showing any sense of responsibility in face of these doubts and criticisms, tried to shift the blame to China by concocting absurd accusations like “the virus originated in China”, “China’s virus data are flawed” and “China refused to cooperate”. American magazine National Interest pointed out sharply that with the quickly worsening pandemic and the forthcoming election, some American politicians tried to make China a scapegoat to divert criticisms at the White House.
Third, the US is losing scores in “media responsibility”. The international community has to get through the pandemic with solidarity, but some American media are so prejudiced in their reports that they smear China’s anti-epidemic efforts and incite discrimination against the country, rather than focus on how dangerous the virus is and how hard China has tried to contain its spread. Their biased coverage is so misleading that the American people have seriously underestimated the severity of the pandemic.
Smearing China and shifting blame will in no way help the epidemic prevention and control in the US or the international cooperation against the virus. Foreign experts on international health laws from many countries have written articles for The Lancet, saying that measures based on fear, rumor, racism, and xenophobia cannot save people from a global emergency like COVID-19. Yuri Tavrovsky, a professor at the People’s Friendship University of Russia, said the “political virus” born out of ideological bias and double standards is more dangerous than the novel coronavirus.
As an old Chinese saying goes, turn inward and examine yourself when you encounter difficulties in life. The American stock market has had four meltdowns in 10 days, and the panicky stock dumping reflects the market’s concern over the scale of the epidemic as well as the possibility that the US government deal with it effectively. We advise certain American politicians to focus on fighting the epidemic and do something constructive for the global anti-virus efforts and international public health security, instead of wasting time on attacking, smearing and complaining.
With the pandemic’s spreading, the global crisis doesn’t appear to be stopping its footsteps. In an age of globalization, worldwide cooperation is the right way to tackle the emergency while narrow nationalism, xenophobia and racial discrimination don’t help at all. Only when all members of the international community join hands and help each other will mankind win the final victory in this battle without smoke.