The US administration has long criticized China on specific issues. Indeed, the current occupant got the keys to the White House campaigning on the allegations of debilitating illegal immigration and China's theft of US jobs and technology.
This time around with few tangible achievements to show for his time in office and the country in chaos because of his administration's botched response to the pandemic, the bogeyman portrayal of China has been menacingly exaggerated to depict it as a threat to the good ol' ways of American life.
Such is the desire to make China a pariah that "America first" has evolved into a virus infecting the administration with a pathological antipathy to all things Chinese. A contagion it wants to spread to the American people and the world.
Hence, the US Department of State's imposition of visa restrictions on certain Chinese technology companies such as Huawei came with the spurious justification that these enterprises provide material support to regimes engaging in human rights abuses globally.
With technology an everyday part of life nowadays and people aware that the tech companies stockpile data like mythical dragons hoarding treasure, fears that malevolent actors might use the technology and data for malicious purposes are easily fuelled.
The current administration is going to such extremes with its China smears because it is speculating on them being effective red herrings to deflect public anger at the deaths, misery and chaos caused by its muddled and flawed response to the pandemic.
It also hopes the redness of the herrings will be appealing bait in the hooks to catch conservative voters pumped up on Stars-and-Stripes steroids.
True, to make China the bête noire might appear easier and quicker to realize with the days fast disappearing before the presidential election. But ultimately it will prove to be a self-defeating strategy for the US.
It does not take too much perspicacity to see the mismatch between the US administration's purposes and strategies, as the best way to ease domestic anger would be to put people's lives first, and the right method to regain the country's global leadership would be to put the common interests of the world first.
Instead, the administration has made the economy its priority at home and sought to lead the way to a Cold War-style schism in the international community in the mistaken belief that it will reconsolidate the US' disappearing leadership.
Only the gullible, the co-opted or those with vested interests in the damaging policies of an administration impaired by its distressing "America first" virus will still credit Washington's pretense of good global citizenship.
The administration's efforts to isolate the second-largest economy and largest trade partner of more than 100 countries from the global system with its us-or-them proposition only presents the world with the choice between order and chaos.