OPINIONS US misinformation campaign continues

OPINIONS

US misinformation campaign continues

China Daily

23:02, October 14, 2020


The White House in Washington. (Photo: Agencies)

The US House Foreign Affairs Committee Minority Staff report on the COVID-19 pandemic released on Sept 21 is full of lies and assumptions.

The report claims to offer more evidence that China covered up the COVID-19 epidemic and the World Health Organization mishandled it. But the content is just the same one-sided claims and speculation contained in the interim version released in June.

By cherry-picking incidents, quotes and media conjectures to stigmatize China, the committee is trying to cover up the current US administration's coronavirus fiasco by passing the buck to China and the WHO.

This was a scheme that the Republican Party was advised to adopt as part of its campaign strategy in a document circulated among its senatorial candidates suggesting how to answer tricky questions over the country's chaotic response to the health crisis.

Contrary to the claims in the House Foreign Affairs Committee report and the campaign advisory, China quickly shared the genetic sequence of the virus with the WHO and other countries on Jan 12. It has also made all its epidemic-related information transparent and shared its experiences in treating the disease with the international community in a series of video conferences.

Indeed, the international community has witnessed and praised the determination with which China mobilized the whole of society in a people's war against the virus, which enabled it to effectively contain the epidemic in Hubei province and arrest the subsequent clusters of infections by acting quickly to identify and cut the transmission chains.

Before the virus began to rage in the US, the US president more than once spoke highly of China's anti-epidemic efforts. The about-face of calling it the "Chinese virus" and accusing China of a cover-up came after the US administration began to be criticized for its lamentable response to the public health threat.

Try as it might to make China the scapegoat for its woes, the tragedy that is unfolding in the US is of its own making. As the US president has admitted, he sought to downplay the seriousness of the pandemic. That and his administration's skepticism of science and ignoring of expert advice, have resulted in the worsening situation in the US.

The accusations in the report are better laid at the door of the White House.

Despite being aware of the seriousness of the pandemic, the US leader and his administration have tried to downplay the threat of the virus, spread misinformation about the pandemic and sought to stymie concerted efforts by the international community to respond to the global health crisis.

The US has the most advanced medical technologies and best medical resources in the world. Rather than trying to blame China, it should reflect on why it has failed to protect its people.

And since no one can be safe until we all are, it should do that posthaste, so it can remedy its failings.

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