OPINIONS Shifting blame cannot hide US failure in response to COVID-19

OPINIONS

Shifting blame cannot hide US failure in response to COVID-19

Xinhua

20:59, May 17, 2020

BEIJING, May 17 (Xinhua) -- The latest data shows that the United States has suffered the most from the COVID-19 pandemic, with over 1.4 million cases and a death toll of 88,230. Despite the severe situation, some US politicians are still bent on shirking their responsibilities.

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File photo by AFP

The United States accounts for less than 5 percent of the world's population, but its number of COVID-19 cases accounts for over 30 percent of the world. Several US media outlets have reported that so far COVID-19 has killed more Americans than the Vietnam War.

It is hard to believe that the wealthiest country on earth could have the greatest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and caused huge pressure on the pandemic prevention and control efforts worldwide.

Instead of reflecting on and improving the country's prevention work, a few US officials have insisted on shifting blame.

Since the outbreak, these US officials have blamed China simply for being the first country to report the disease, asked China to shoulder ungrounded responsibilities, and even demanded reparations from China, while they themselves attempted to cover their tracks and failure to properly deal with the pandemic.

Lies evaporate in the light of truth. In fact, the United States' failures in its response to the virus have triggered criticism.

The US government had not declared a national emergency until March 13, 70 days after it was notified by China of the new virus on Jan. 3, 40 days after it closed its borders on Feb. 2 to all Chinese citizens and foreign nationals who had traveled in China within the previous 14 days.

While China was making all-out efforts to curb the disease and work with the international community to tide over difficulties, the US side was preoccupied with identifying scapegoats and mishandled the situation, which contributed to the accelerated spread.  

Furthermore, the United States, the world's sole superpower, has been missing in action in the international community's joint anti-virus efforts.

People can see that the US side took a series of irresponsible steps, such as announcing a suspension of funding for the World Health Organization (WHO), shifting blame to China and the WHO, intercepting other countries' prevention materials and accelerating the repatriation of "illegal immigrants" to Latin American countries, to evade its due responsibility for preventing the spread of the pandemic.

The medical journal The Lancet said in an article on April 25 that global health and global health security need a strong WHO, which in turn needs strong support from the United States. 

Moreover, some US politicians spared no effort to cover up the truth and mislead people to win support at the ballot box.

According to some US media outlets, sources from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that the White House, considering the current number of US fatalities too high, has pressed the CDC to change how they count coronavirus deaths, so that lower death tolls will be reported. 

The public has little appetite for playing the blame game, which will not resolve the pandemic. At this critical moment, what the US politicians need to do is to take part in the global efforts to defeat the virus, instead of dodging their responsibilities. 

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