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Report: US battle against COVID-19 is a failure

By ZHAO RUINAN | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2021-08-10 07:03

Lila Blanks holds the casket of her husband, Gregory Blanks, 50, who died of COVID-19, ahead of his funeral in San Felipe, Texas, Jan 26, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

For more than a year, the United States response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been a miserable failure, both nationally and internationally, said a report released on Monday.

The report, "'America Ranked First'?! The Truth about America's Fight against COVID-19", said the US has not only disrupted global efforts to fight the coronavirus, but also cast US citizens into a deepening "crisis", with the country now facing a fourth wave of infections and a new high in confirmed cases.

While the world has raced to strengthen international vaccine cooperation and promote their fair and equitable distribution, the US has engaged in "vaccine nationalism" and made it more difficult for developing countries to obtain vaccines, the report said, noting that it has exported less than 1 percent of US-made vaccines.

Months of COVID-19 vaccine hoarding in the US also led to enormous vaccine wastage as domestic demand declined. Doses that could have vaccinated at least 13 million people were in danger of expiring in the US, The Washington Post reported on July 27.

In addition, the US government has disrupted international anti-pandemic efforts by politicizing the origin tracing of the virus, "coercing the World Health Organization and some scientists to give up their objective and impartial positions", according to the report jointly released in Beijing by three think tanks: the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China, Taihe Institute and Intellisia Institute.

Washington has targeted China on the issue of virus origin tracing. US President Joe Biden recently ordered an official investigation into the possibility of an origin link between the novel coronavirus and a laboratory in China's Wuhan.

Martin Jacques, a former senior fellow at Cambridge University, said at a seminar where the report was released that the "attack on China" is a strategy of distraction and deflection aimed at tarnishing China's reputation to the greatest degree, and to distract from the poor US performance.

"COVID-19 is mired in a sort of Cold War rhetoric, Cold War language, and Cold War assault by the US, and this is going to continue," Jacques said via video link.

The US government has failed to take effective exit control measures, which the report said has "indirectly exacerbated the global spread of the pandemic".

When the US was facing its peak of the pandemic, the number of US citizens traveling abroad also peaked.

From November 2020 to January 2021, as the average daily confirmed cases exceeded 186,000, the average daily number of US citizens traveling abroad reached the peak of 87,000, according to official figures.

The US government also was "exporting the virus" by returning thousands of illegal immigrants to developing countries that were not equipped to deal with it, intensifying COVID-19 deterioration in those countries.

Tang Bei, an international relations researcher at Shanghai International Studies University, said the US is prone to attributing health threats to foreign countries, especially developing countries, thus ignoring the problems within its own borders.

With the US recorded its highest daily case loads over six months, its poor performance in dealing with COVID-19 cast its own people into a crisis.

According to Johns Hopkins University, the US has had the most COVID-19 infections of any country, with more than 35.7 million confirmed cases and more than 616,000 deaths as of Monday.

A growing partisan divide is seen as the main reason behind the poor US COVID-19 response at home, the report said, adding that it presented the image of a "Disunited America" in the fight against the pandemic.

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