U.S. buck-passing game will only make a mockery of itself

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Editorial by People’s Daily

Recently, the COVID-19 situation in the U.S. has been rebounding at a faster pace, with core indicators, including daily numbers of newly confirmed cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, all rising sharply.

Shockingly, politicians of the country are still busying themselves with the old trick of buck-passing. They hastily released a so-called addendum to the origins of COVID-19 report, attempting to shift the blame for their own incompetence in handling the pandemic by defaming China.

Their move, while once again demonstrated convincingly their disregard for science and indifference to people’s lives and health, has sabotaged global solidarity against COVID-19.

Facts have proven repeatedly that the U.S. can’t whitewash its own mistakes by smearing others, and acts of blame-shifting and scapegoating only bungle the chance of saving lives.

As a country with the most advanced and maturest medical technologies in the world, why did the U.S. fail to control the pandemic and become a source of new infections around the world?

An important reason is that irresponsible U.S. politicians haven’t focused their energy on fighting the pandemic at home, but played the same old trick of buck-passing and politicized the pandemic from the very beginning for selfish political interests. Such misdeeds have not only inflicted suffering on the American people, but added difficulty to global fight against the pandemic.

In order to shift the blame for their incompetence in responding to the pandemic, U.S. politicians have racked their brains to cover up the COVID-19 situation at home and pretend that everything is going well.

According to reports from U.S. media outlets The Palm Beach Post and Miami Herald, website of Florida Department of Health showed that 171 local people in Florida reported symptoms of COVID-19 or positive test for the virus in January and February 2020. Relevant data were first pulled off the website on the night of May 4, 2020, and later restored after the Florida Department of Health found that the deletion caused a gap in the serial number of cases.

The furtive act is just a tip of the iceberg of what the U.S. has done to hide its actual COVID-19 situation. The country’s actual numbers of infections and deaths from the pandemic might be over 65 million and 900,000 respectively, far higher than official statistics, as suggested by studies conducted by the University of Washington.

In addition, as part of their blame game, U.S. politicians have constantly made unfounded countercharges against other countries. They even falsely accused China of trying to obstruct the World Health Organization (WHO) in carrying out normal activities.

As a matter of fact, it is the U.S. that blatantly withdrew from the WHO and frequently threatened to halt funding to the organization, that has stigmatized acts of other countries regarding the pandemic, attached geographical labels to the virus, and interfered with WHO’s efforts to coordinate global response to the pandemic, and that has used the WHO and multilateralism when they suit its interests and abandoned them otherwise.

As for the accusation made by U.S. politicians that China refused to participate in the WHO’s plan for the second phase of studies into the origins of the COVID-19, it was merely another excuse for discrediting China. In fact, it is the U.S. that is not taking part in the real science-based origin tracing. It is also the U.S. that is staying out of the international origin-tracing cooperation.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, China has demonstrated a scientific, professional, serious, open, transparent, and responsible attitude in tracing the origins of the virus. China has taken the lead in cooperating with the WHO on origin tracing, and has twice invited WHO experts in for origin-tracing studies. These experts went to every place they asked to see, and met everyone they wanted to meet.

In contrast, U.S. politicians have always been secretive about reports suggesting that early COVID-19 cases in the U.S. may have occurred before the known first case.

U.S. officials have been internally warned “not to pursue an investigation into the origin of COVID-19” because it would “‘open a can of worms’ if it continued,” according to an article published on the website of U.S. magazine Vanity Fair in June.

However, no matter how hard it tries to hide its secrets, the U.S. cannot avoid the following questions: What’s the connection between the temporary closure of the Fort Detrick biological lab and the e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury (EVALI) cases as well as other respiratory diseases of unknown causes in the U.S.? Why hasn’t the U.S. invited the WHO to investigate Fort Detrick? Since the WHO has conducted COVID-19 origin tracing work in China, why can’t it go to U.S. for tracing the origins of the virus?

While pointing fingers at others, why does the U.S. exclude itself from the COVID-19 origin tracing efforts? What U.S. politicians have done regarding the pandemic and the virus origin-tracing process have fully demonstrated that they don’t care about facts and the truth at all, and have no interest in carrying out scientific and serious COVID-19 origin tracing. What they really want is to use the pandemic as an excuse to achieve political purposes through stigmatization and political manipulation against other countries.

Despite all the tricks it played, the U.S. cannot change the fact that its failure to control the COVID-19 has encumbered global epidemic prevention and control.

The U.S. government must understand that the international community has sufficient reason to question the Fort Detrick biological lab, which has a poor safety record and been notorious for violations of federal regulations and contaminant leakage, demand that the U.S. clarify and explain the situation of the lab, and call on the WHO to investigate it.

The purpose of the demand is not only to trace the origins of the COVID-19, but to protect the safety of people around the world, including the American people. People will not stop questioning the innocence of the lab until the U.S. gives them a reasonable explanation.

Not long ago, U.S. media ranked the U.S. first among 53 economies in the world in its “COVID Resilience Ranking” by changing evaluation indicators. However, people around the world see clearly that the rebound in COVID-19 cases in the country will not magically be reversed because of political manipulation, but will only get worse due to inaction and lip-service of U.S. politicians.

U.S. politicians should retrieve conscience and sense as quickly as possible and quit the buck-passing game before it’s too late, as after all, hegemonic mindset cannot curb the spread of the virus, and power politics cannot bring the pandemic under control.

Countries can only defeat the pandemic and safeguard the health and wellbeing of mankind when they respect life, facts and science.

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