What the US does about COVID-19 divides the world

COVID-19 is still ravaging the world. Almost four million cases were reported to the WHO last week, and on current trends, the total number of cases is expected to pass 200 million within the next two weeks. Facing the severe situation, the international society must enhance solidarity and cooperation so as to prevent the virus from further spreading.

At this critical moment, US politicians started playing the “solidarity” card, saying “solidarity” is of vital importance for the international society. However, it’s obvious that the America-proposed  “solidarity” is indeed a kind of divide, and a deceitful strategy to gain support from some countries for the second phase of studies into the origins of COVID-19, which disrespect facts, run counter to science and conscience, and are manipulated by the US.

The WHO said that “The only way we will defeat this outbreak is for all countries to work together in a spirit of solidarity and cooperation.” The arduous fight between mankind and COVID-19 over the past year proved that the world needs rationality, science and solidarity, rather than lies, blame game and divide. The mankind must stand together, as only solidarity can build the strength to defeat the virus.

However, the US has never stood together with the rest of the world. As the world was battling the pandemic, Washington was, as always, dividing the world. Last year, the US intercepted anti-pandemic materials of other countries, bought out medicines, and defunded and withdrew from the WHO. This year, it hoarded vaccines, restricted export of vaccine raw materials, formed cliques, and acted hypocritically on supporting multilateralism. It even coerced the WHO on some important agendas and projects.

The WHO warned that “The greatest enemy we face is not the virus itself; it’s the stigma that turns us against each other.” However, the US has always been spreading rumors and provoking confrontations by playing the stigmatization game, labeling the virus and politicizing origin tracing over the past year. It blatantly called COVID-19 “China virus,” and frequently hyped the so-called “lab leak theory.” Such practices have built walls between different countries, and instigated a hate against Asians in the US, which is not only hurting global solidarity in the fight against COVID-19, but also exacerbating the racial divide in the country.

Many objective scientists have suffered personal attacks and verbal abuse due to the “origin tracing terrorism” advocated by the White House, and the US government even threatened to defund some research institutions.

Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the US who once received a death threat, said now it’s not a secret any longer that the White House is politicizing many issues.

The US is extending its “evil claws” to the science community. It hopes to hinder the process of origin tracing and cripple the efforts defeating the virus with science by oppressing and separating the international science community, which is irresponsible for mankind.

The US government said “We’re always better off at the table, not outside the room.” However, it is going back into the room to confront China with its allies, not to promote international solidarity and cooperation.

Taking China as the biggest strategic enemy and threat, which is a wrong approach, the US ignores facts and calls white black. It maliciously interpreted China’s vaccine assistance as vaccine diplomacy, saying China was filling the vacuum created by the US by helping other countries develop. Sticking to such a Cold War and zero sum mentality, the US would only create gaps between countries, and hinder the international cooperation in coping with global challenges.

The world is a community with a shared future, and solidarity and cooperation remain the most powerful weapon against the pandemic. As the world’s largest developing country, how the pandemic is controlled there directly concerns the global situation.

According to data released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on July 30, the seven-day average of daily new cases, deaths and hospitalized cases increased 64.1 percent, 33.3 percent and 46.3 percent compared with the previous seven-day data. It triggered concerns of American public health experts that the number of new cases might keep surging if the government doesn’t take effective measures.

When will the White House do as it says and really join the global anti-pandemic cooperation? When will it stop undermining solidarity and dividing the world?

(Zhong Sheng is a pen name often used by People’s Daily to express its views on China’s foreign policy and international affairs.)