By John Ross
“I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole. It’s – it was like – we had entire training courses.” These words from US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo summarize the White House administration’s claim that COVID-19 originated in a laboratory in Wuhan, China. Such a claim has even less credibility than earlier ones that include North Vietnam attacked US warships in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964, which never happened, or that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, which was later proven false.
The origin of a virus is to be determined by medical experts – not politicians without experience conducting scientific research. Not one notable medical expert has supported the Trump administration’s claim. Indeed, numerous medical experts have stated the claim is without merit. US allies, such as Britain and Australia, have also rejected the claim. Why, therefore, is a lie, rejected by credible medical professionals, and one that therefore carries zero international credibility, being put forward daily by the Trump administration?
The reason is apparent and can be found in the US’ COVID-19 fatality statistics. As of this writing, in the US, more than 75,000 people have died from the virus, with over 1.25 million suffering from the disease, more than any other country worldwide.
While the US suffered heavy military casualties fighting abroad – World War II, the Korean and Vietnam wars, COVID-19 is only the third mass death experience on US soil historically, behind the Spanish influenza pandemic in 1918, and the Civil War.
Not only does the US have the highest COVID-19 fatality rate worldwide, but it had two months to prepare for the outbreak and instead did nothing effective. US President Donald Trump claimed that COVID-19 was not worse than flu and offered solutions that had no basis in reputable medical circles and some of which were even deadly, such as injecting oneself with disinfectant.
The US has extensive manufacturing capabilities, only second globally after China. If the US government had taken action, then huge quantities of test kits, personal protection equipment (PPE), ventilators, and other supplies could have been made available to help fight the virus. Instead, nothing adequate was done, and the results have been catastrophic.
If Americans were aware of the situation, Trump would not win in November and would lose the election by one of the greatest landslide margins in US history. The administration’s attacks on China were launched out of desperation to divert attention from reality.
Not only do the attacks hold zero credibility, but they are also dangerous for the American people.
As the US grapples with the largest COVID-19 outbreak worldwide, China has succeeded in defeating it. In China, in the last seven days there were only 11 new infected cases, which include both local and imported ones, with zero fatalities. In the US, the average rate for new cases is almost 27,000, with the average fatality rate over 1,700.
Given China’s superior performance in fighting COVID-19, it is vital that the American people learn from their experience. Yet this isn’t exclusive. Other Asian Pacific countries that have experienced outbreaks, such as South Korea, also achieved low levels of deaths. Some European countries have also experienced the same. The American people should be protected from the danger that threatens them by learning from all successful foreign examples.
The lies from the Trump administration endanger US society, and as one American website bluntly stated, “Trump’s Policies toward Workers: Drop Dead.”
The unnecessary loss of life is unacceptable. The Trump administration’s attacks on China will not affect China. Meanwhile, the Chinese will continue to laugh at such bogus claims as they are aware of the true situation.
The author is senior fellow at Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China. He was formerly director of Economic and Business Policy for the Mayor of London.
This article was originally published in Global Times on 8 May https://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1187790.shtml .