COVID-19 response not a race among countries, but calls for global solidarity

By Zhong Sheng
Some American politicians have been preaching the timeline of COVID-19 response in the United States, but it doesn’t always match up with facts. Their trumpet-blowing remarks are always self-contradictory, and the ridiculous blame game is even more outrageous.
“Most people never even heard what was going on January 11th. And we were out there trying to develop a vaccine, not even knowing what we were up against.” The recent remarks by the White House were even more contradictory. How could it be aware of the danger of the virus at such an early date as the country reported the first confirmed case in late January and declared national emergency on March 13.
On Jan. 7, China isolated the first novel coronavirus strain. It submitted the genomic sequence information of the virus to the World Health Organization (WHO) five days later and shared it on the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data. Obviously, the vaccine development in the U.S., which started “within hours of the virus’s genetic code being posted online”, was based on the research published by China. This makes the U.S. accusation on China for the lack of information transparency total nonsense.
As a matter of fact, China has reported 30 times epidemic information and containment measures to the U.S. between Jan. 3 to Feb. 3. The political farces staged by certain U.S. politicians can only be more ridiculous when compared with the fair, transparent an responsible approaches of China.
Trivial matters sometimes reveal big problems. The “error” about the vaccine information is an epitome of the chaotic pandemic response in the U.S. which claimed the virus would disappear like a miracle and rejected experts’ advices on epidemic control and economic restart.
Washington Post recently said in an article that the strategy from the White House and the president’s supporting cast has been to deny, distort, deflect and obstruct. The remarks and actions of certain U.S. politicians can never withstand the test of practice. Vaccine expert Rick Bright with United States Department of Health and Human Services recent said the U.S. was wasting time.
Lives are valuable and pandemic containment remains an urgent task. Multiple mainstream media outlets in the U.S. have questioned the incapacity of pandemic response of the world’s top technological and economic power. It’s obvious that the U.S. is not going toward the right direction. Some U.S. politicians even declared COVID-19 was accidentally leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, saying China controlled the WHO and must compensate the losses caused by the pandemic. Lies never hold water, because the blame game can neither contain the virus nor save lives.
Science and professionalism are essential to controlling the virus, rather than assumption and actions that go against the general trend. As of May 18, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. had exceeded 1.4 million, with nearly 90,000 deaths.
“The Administration is obsessed with magic bullets—vaccines, new medicines, or a hope that the virus will simply disappear,” the Lancet said. But only a steadfast reliance on basic public health principles, like test, trace, and isolate, will see the emergency brought to an end, the medical journal noted.
The COVID-19 response is not a race among countries, and what we aim is a common victory over the virus. The U.S. politicians should stop draining their brains to fabricate lies, as well as the blame game to seek private political profits, because only saving lives and conducting practical cooperation conform to the interests of their country.
Human beings are a community with a shared future, and solidarity and cooperation remain the most powerful weapon against the pandemic. Besides, solidarity and cooperation are also important experience gained by the international society in combating the virus, and the right path for the people around the world to secure public health security.
(Zhong Sheng is a pen name often used by People’s Daily to express its views on foreign policy.)