Think tanks reveal truth about America’s COVID-19 response

The politicization of COVID-19, inaction in pandemic control and “origin tracing terrorism” of U.S. politicians have not only plunged the U.S. into crises, but disrupted international anti-epidemic efforts, said a recent report published by Chinese think tanks.


The U.S. should face up to its own problems, stop wrongful acts of blame-shifting and spreading political virus, and truly take part in global anti-epidemic cooperation with a scientific, rational, and responsible attitude, said Chinese and foreign attendees to the publishing ceremony of the report titled “‘America Ranked First’?! The Truth about America’s fight against COVID-19” on Monday, August 9.


The report was compiled by Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies of Renmin University of China (RDCY), Taihe Institute, and Intellisia Institute.


As of 6 pm EST on August 8, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases reported in the U.S. had reached 35,757,980, and death toll 616,816, according to statistics by Johns Hopkins University.


Data released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) show that about 66,000 Americans are hospitalized with COVID-19 across the country, the highest figure since February.


During the past week, the daily average tally of new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. exceeded 100,000.


Despite the rebounding COVID-19 pandemic situation, some U.S. media organizations have rated the U.S. as the best country regarding COVID-19 response, on unrealistic standards, of course.


What is the truth? With substantial living examples and data, the report reveals how the U.S. has responded to the pandemic. It includes five parts: For partisan competitions, not for the lives, Anti-science and against common-sense measures, System failures result in the pandemic difficult to control, The pandemic exacerbated the social gap and Willful destruction of global resistance to the pandemic.


Rating the U.S. as the best country in terms of COVID-19 response is just detrimental to presenting a real and objective history in the future, said Wang Wen, executive dean of the RDCY.


While revealing the truth about COVID-19 response in the U.S., the report also reviews the pandemic development with a hope that other countries can draw lessons from the failure of the U.S. and summarize successful practices in COVID-19 prevention and control so as to better respond to similar public health crises in the future, Wang said.


The COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. had been excessively politicized due to political disputes, partisan disputes in particular, and the country went against common sense in prevention and control, policy measures, virus origin tracing investigation, and many other aspects of the efforts to control the pandemic, which was the direct reason why the U.S. became a “failed country in fighting the epidemic,” said the report.


According to it, there have been frequent conflicts between U.S. federal, state, and local governments over COVID-19 prevention and control, and government agencies at all levels have shirked their responsibilities in pandemic response.


Plagued by “selective treatment” during the pandemic, the U.S. saw the poor unable to afford treatment, and the elderly unable to receive medical care, said the report, noting that a continuous rise in unemployment, crime rate, and racial problems in the U.S. society during the pandemic has further exacerbated social divide.


System failures are an important reason for the failure of the U.S. to control the pandemic, said Chen Dingding, head of Intellisia Institute.


The report gives a shock by exposing huge humanitarian disasters inflicted on Americans, and casts a doubt over the effectiveness of American democracy that created the failure of pandemic control in the country, said Wei Nanzhi, deputy director of social and cultural research office of the Institute of American Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.


American democracy is increasingly equated with the electoral competition between the two major political parties in the country, Wei pointed out, adding that how to gain more electoral support amid the pandemic is indeed the source of political pressure of the two parties, not how they can prevent the disease effectively and save more lives. To shirk responsibilities, pass the buck and demonize opponents with the pandemic is what political parties in the U.S. have to do in electoral competition, he explained.


Strongly politically divided in the last election, much of the nation believed that accepting the need for prophylactic measures in fighting the virus would be a sellout of former U.S. President Donald Trump’s program, William Jones, Washington bureau chief of the U.S. publication Executive Intelligence Review, said in a recent article, noting that there is still strong resistance coming from conservative states loyal to Trump to any “draconian” measures to fight the virus.


“The U.S., unfortunately, therefore remains more part of the problem than part of the solution. And their making so-called vaccine diplomacy a political football, and playing the ‘blame game’ with China takes the world even further away from overcoming the pandemic,” he wrote.


According to the report, as the world’s top superpower, the U.S. has allowed the virus to spread, resulting in the serious deterioration of pandemics in other countries; it has shirked its responsibilities and tried to use the World Health Organization (WHO) as a tool to defend its own interests, abandoning it if it does not fit in; it has pursued “anti-pandemic egoism” and “vaccine nationalism”, and has been manipulating the vaccine map and manipulating global public opinion by practicing “origin tracing terrorism”.


The COVID-19 pandemic is the severest test of governance countries in the world have faced since the World War II, said Martin Jacques, a former senior fellow of politics and international studies at Cambridge University, noting that while facts and the truth have been discarded by the U.S. in its response to the pandemic, political debate has found favor with the country.


The U.S. government has made racist remarks and groundless accusations using the “lab leak theory,” said Jacques, adding that the COVID-19 pandemic has been treated with Cold War mentality and zero-sum game mindset and cast a shadow of political struggle by the U.S.


The U.S. has always been secretive about tracing the origins of the COVID-19 in its own territory, and remained silent on topics of common concerns of the international community, such as the earliest outbreak in the U.S., early routes of transmission, and the sudden shutdown of the Fort Detrick lab, said Song Xiaofeng, secretary-general of Taihe Institute.


Meanwhile, driven by the political consideration of diverting attention from their own incompetence in fighting the pandemic and shifting the blame to China, U.S. politicians have hyped up the theory that the COVID-19 escaped from a Wuhan lab and sought a presumption of guilt against China, thwarting and misleading the international community’s science-based origin tracing work.


“The pandemic is a global public health crisis that objectively requires countries around the world, including the U.S., to pool their resources to fight the pandemic. The world must help the elderly, vulnerable and sick, and those hardest hit by the pandemic,” said the report.


The U.S. needs to respond to various new queries and must allow an international team of experts organized by the WHO to conduct site visits and investigations of relevant biological laboratories in the U.S., so as to practically advance global anti-epidemic cooperation, pointed out the report.

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