OPINIONS GOP's shameful blame-game playbook cannot help White House to defeat virus


GOP's shameful blame-game playbook cannot help White House to defeat virus

China Daily

20:20, April 26, 2020

Photo taken on April 24, 2020 shows the White House in Washington DC, the United States. (Photo: Xinhua)

Whether it has been acted on yet or not, the attacks on China during the COVID-19 pandemic mean the advice offered in the newly leaked 57-page strategy document issued by the National Republican Senatorial Committee comes as no surprise.

Authored by a consulting firm of Republican strategist Brett O'Donnell, the playbook suggests three main lines of assault: That China caused the virus "by covering it up," that the Democrats are "soft on China," and that Republicans will "push for sanctions on China for its role in spreading this pandemic".

Given that O'Donnell has advised US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton, who have both dutifully followed the suggested approach of alleging that the novel coronavirus is "a Chinese hit and run followed by a cover-up that cost thousands of lives", how it is to be put into practice has already been demonstrated.

During the 2008 presidential campaign O'Donnell was listed by Time magazine as one of the five most important people not running for president, and he is credited with being one of the best political debate coaches in the country having assisted George W. Bush prepare for the 2004 presidential debates, which it has been said sent Bush into the final stretch of the campaign with a wind at his back.

Thus it can be expected that the GOP's China-bashing will be ramped-up in the coming months as they look to portray the Democrats as being soft on China, and that the line that China is responsible for the pandemic will be pushed in the forthcoming election debates.

Yet the way things are now is not as they were when the Republicans came to power pushing claims that China had long been taking advantage of the United States. Peddle the lie as it might, it is not China that is to blame for the current situation in the US, but the administration's own misjudgments.

While the US is now the country worst hit by the virus because of the administration's floundering and lack of decisive action, Wuhan, which was the front line for the Chinese government's resolute battle against the virus, now has no remaining cases in its hospitals, as a health official told reporters on Sunday.

Despite the US administration's continuous and organized attacks on it, China has never ceased providing assistance to the country. As of last week, China had provided the US with about 2.5 billion face masks, and 5,000 ventilators, making it the largest material supporter of the US in its fight against the virus.

To save lives must be its priority. With one-third of the world's infections and one-fourth of the world's deaths caused by the virus being recorded on US soil, those advisers, who feel no qualms about earning money from trying to keep the US administration in its comfort zone, should be ashamed that they are in effect taking blood money.

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