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US squandered opportunities to squash COVID-19

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-09-05 18:02

Polarized bipartisan pattern and chaotic response

Narrow partisan political interests and the supremacy of short-term economic interests have plagued the US response to the epidemic.

When partisan struggles met the division of power among federal, state, and local governments, COVID-19 outbreak prevention and control efforts were caught with clear divisions and contradictions— even confrontations.

"Wearing a mask" has become a political issue in the US. Trump himself refused to wear a mask and even organized many public meetings. Since the Democratic Party's Biden became president, he has pushed for "mask mandates" and vaccinations. But the Republican states and the federal government are in deep conflict.

The US government has repeatedly acted "mindlessly", resulting in a shortage of medical supplies and ignored the health and life needs of the people.

The chairman of the US COVID-19 Crisis Subcommittee, James E. Clyburn, blamed the federal government for not having a unified national strategy to protect people's health even six months after the outbreak in the US.

The US has so far had confusing data on the pandemic. On the one hand, it has not been treating confirmed cases with full capacity in a timely manner. On the other hand, it has wasted a lot of valuable medical resources due to the lack of unified and effective coordination.

Time magazine's opinion piece titled "The COVID-19 Crisis in the US Is a Failure of Democracy" stated that the COVID-19 has been called a serious public health crisis, leading to massive deaths and rapid job losses in the US. However, it is not essentially a failure of public health response, but a failure of democracy.

Disregarding international morality

The US engaged in "vaccine nationalism" and created an "immunization divide", politicizing vaccine cooperation and impeding global cooperation on vaccines, treatment, and joint prevention and control, making it difficult for poor countries to obtain vaccines and leading to global vaccine supply imbalance.

Several media outlets have reported on poor global collaboration in vaccines.

According to the Washington Post, the US is stockpiling COVID-19 vaccines in large numbers, which has led to significant vaccine waste.

The New York Times also stated that a huge vaccine access gap has emerged globally.

Duke University's Center for Global Health Innovation estimates that by the summer of 2021, the US could be 300 million or more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in surplus. "

The Wall Street Journal reported on May 17 that the US had exported only 3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, less than 1 percent of US vaccine production.

Undermining global cooperation

The US failed to control the pandemic within its borders. But it is exporting the coronavirus outside its borders.

In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, more than 20 million US citizens were still traveling abroad. The US has shirked its responsibility with the global spread of the pandemic.

The US has massively deported illegal immigrants, causing the pandemic to intensify in some developing countries.

The New York Times stated that the US was "exporting the virus" by returning thousands of people who may have been infected with the COVID-19 to poorer countries.

During the same period when President Biden instructed the US intelligence community to provide a report on the origins of the outbreak within 90 days, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, National Security Adviser James Sullivan, and other senior government officials made statements on the origins of the outbreak. This created an international dispute for no reason. However, Washington has been extremely secretive in the face of the international community's concerns about the early spread of the virus.

Washington also has disrupted the international order of pandemic responses by "withdrawing from the WHO and rejoining the WHO".

Richard Horton, editor in chief of the Lancet, called the US withdrawal from WHO "madness and terrifying both at the same time".

However, the Biden administration's "rejoining the group" is not for the sake of Sino-Western cooperation against the pandemic, but to release the signal of "return of the US" to the international community and to draw in more allies and international organizations to confront China.

The report titled "'America Ranked First'?! The Truth about America's Fight against COVID-19" contributed to this story.

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