xi's moments
Home | Opinion Line

White House can't hide failure to pass pandemic test

By LI YANG | China Daily | Updated: 2023-02-01 08:46

Tourists walk outside the White House in Washington, US, Jan 28, 2023. [Photo/Agencies]

The Biden administration will end both the COVID-19 national emergency and public health emergency on May 11, the White House informed Congress on Monday night.

This will formally restructure the federal coronavirus response to treat the virus as an endemic threat to public health that can be managed through normal health practices. In actuality, the national and public health emergencies instated because of COVID-19 only exist on paper today in the United States. As the statement said: "To be clear, continuation of these emergency declarations until May 11 does not impose any restriction at all on individual conduct with regard to COVID-19. They do not impose mask mandates or vaccine mandates. They do not restrict school or business operations. They do not require the use of any medicines or tests in response to cases of COVID-19."

It is the need to win the upper hand in the biparty struggle that has prompted the Biden administration to make the move.

Biden's announcement comes in a statement opposing resolutions to bring the emergencies to an immediate end being brought to the floor this week by House Republicans. House Republicans are also gearing up to launch investigations on the federal government's response to COVID-19.

In fact, both the previous Donald Trump administration and the Biden administration responded ineffectually to the public health crisis, which explains why the US, that has a world-leading healthcare system and pharmaceutical industry, also leads the world in the total number of deaths caused by COVID-19 and has the highest COVID-19 death rate of any high-income country.

Three years on, there is still no clear coordination among federal, state and local governments, as well as non-governmental organizations, in addressing the pandemic. The information the US government provides about the pandemic continues to lack transparency and accuracy, and the US government's communication with the public regarding the pandemic remains poor. The country's approach to dealing with the virus has been constantly based on political needs rather than science and facts.

The pandemic exposes the institutional maladies of the US political system that always puts vested interests before the lives and health of the people.

Both the Trump and Biden administrations have sought to shirk their own culpability for the tragedy that has unfolded in the US by scapegoating other countries for the pandemic in a bid to divert domestic attention from their own failures, disregarding the damaging spillover effects of doing so.

After declaring the end of the emergencies over COVID-19 on May 11, it is predictable that the Biden administration will officially free itself from the burden that it had already de facto shucked off. But history will never forget what it and its predecessor have done in this testing time, and how many US lives could have been saved had they acted otherwise.

Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349