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US should not let its differences with China hijack people's health: China Daily editorial

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-04-09 19:44

The continuously worsening pandemic situation in the United States, rather than spurring the US administration to greater prevention and control efforts, seems only to have made it more querulous.

Since it has failed to find an audience for its scapegoating of China, Washington has switched its focus to the World Health Organization in a desperate bid to direct the fierce flak it has been receiving elsewhere.

Yet once again its political poison has lacked the bite of truth, and it has been unable to puncture the perception that its attacks, although intended as self-defense, are doing it more harm than good.

In a news conference on Wednesday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus provided facts to refute the US claims that the global health body had been too focused on China and had issued bad advice. In doing so, he not only proved the charges were groundless and unprofessional, he also showed that they were politically driven and selfish.

The hypocrisy of the US administration knows no bounds. While the WHO repeatedly urged countries to be prepared in the event the outbreak did become a pandemic, and provided reliable references for how to act, the US administration chose to indulge in schadenfreude at China's expense while twiddling its thumbs.

Regretfully, some people have taken the bait of doubt cast by Washington on the mortality and infection rates in China, and some countries have even claimed the low death rate reported by China misled them into complacency, something that the US administration itself seems to have been guilty of doing.

Hoisted by its own petard, it is no wonder the US administration squirms when the WHO speaks highly of China's prevention and control efforts.

Considering the US to be the party that pays the piper the most and therefore the one to call the tune, Washington seems to expect, as it does of others, that the international organization should act as its mouthpiece.

A window of opportunity was won for the world thanks to the commitment of the Chinese people to collective action in the face of this common threat. That the US administration squandered this opportunity is not China's fault nor the WHO's, it alone bears the responsibility for that.

Its attempts to pass the buck for that error of judgment will no doubt continue, but given the misfortune that has befallen the country as a result of what was in essence hubris, they will be looked upon more with sorrow than anger.

But unless the US administration accepts the facts that this is a natural cataclysm and the virus is a common threat to all, it will continue to impede the international solidarity needed to end the pandemic and get the global economy back on its feet again — and that will mean more suffering at home.

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