Controlling COVID-19 pandemic remains priority

By Ren Ping
There’s an old saying in China that human life comes above everything. Only by controlling the COVID-19 pandemic and safeguarding the life and health of the people can a solid foundation be laid for continuous economic and social development.
This is a nationwide consensus in China, and shall be a choice to be made by global countries.
Recently, China’s “two sessions,” the country’s top legislature and political advisory body successfully concluded, and the country is also witnessing orderly progress of work and business resumption. New development opportunities are emerging for industries.
Such progress achieved with tremendous efforts is inspiring. From the very beginning, China has considered epidemic control as its top priority, placing a 10-million-people city in stagnation and temporarily slowing the world’s second largest economy with a GDP of almost a hundred trillion yuan.
The country is aware of the huge cost, but to protect people’s life and health and guarantee future economic and social development, it didn’t hesitate before making sacrifices. Its arduous efforts forcefully turned the table and finally brought life and production back to normal.
Now, the COVID-19 pandemic is still spreading around the world, and countries should have been offering mutual help to get through the crisis. However, when China is selflessly sharing its experiences and offering medical supplies, and when countries and international organizations are making concerted efforts against the pandemic, some U.S. politicians politicized the disease, stigmatized other countries, fabricated lies to pass the buck to China, groundlessly accused the World Health Organization and declared to terminate ties with the UN health body.
Some commented that the pandemic in the U.S. has yet to peak, but the capability of the U.S. government to shift blames is always on a new high. Even U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who’s always been anti-China, remarked that the White House’s rhetoric on China is a “diversion” from its own missteps in handling the coronavirus outbreak.
Unfortunately, it only took 80 some days for the U.S. to see its COVID-19 death toll surging from one on Feb. 29 to over 100,000, making the country the worst-hit region in the world, with both infections and deaths ranking the highest.
This fully proves that making rumors, framing and blame game do not help with pandemic control at all, but only waste more time and threaten more lives. Speaking of the chaotic pandemic response in the U.S., Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, noted that  “It’s sad that even the U.S., where you would expect to do this well, did this poorly.” An investigation report by New York Times pointed out that with slow response, the White House missed “key turning points along the way.” The delayed pandemic response of the White House also left administration officials with almost no insight into how rapidly the virus was spreading, and local governments in the U.S. had to work under no guideline and see the virus get rampant.
The novel coronavirus is the No.1 public enemy of mankind. As someone said, today we all live in the same forest that is on fire, hesitation, panic, ignorance, inaction and disorder are all irresponsible. Facing problems is a premise of resolving them, while respecting science remains key to defeating the virus. At the critical moment, we must realize that politicizing the pandemic and stigmatizing other countries poses greater danger than the virus does. A historic pandemic is spreading, said Lawrence Gostin, professor in global health law at Georgetown University, calling for scientific guidance, as ignoring science would cause deaths. Unfortunately, American public health experts are left hanging, he added.
Chinese scientist Zhong Nanshan said he had been approached by Ian Lipkin, US epidemiologist and director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, to use molecular tools to establish how the virus jumped to humans. However, the endeavor might be stalled for fear it would be distorted by political agendas.
In a word, it’s all about controlling the pandemic. Facing the virus, adopting correct approaches, making righteous moves and concentrating on pandemic response are what should be done to protect the life and health of the people and to contribute to global public health. We advise American politicians not to manipulate the pandemic or ignore science, as it not only concerns common responsibility, but also reflects human conscience.

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