FILE - In this June 25, 2019, file photo, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Embassy Kabul during an unannounced visit to Afghanistan. On Monday, March 23, 2020, Pompeo arrived in Kabul on an urgent visit to try to move forward a U.S. peace deal signed last month with the Taliban. Pompeo's trip to the Afghan capital comes despite the coronavirus pandemic, at a time when world leaders and statesmen are curtailing official travel. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Pool)

By Zhong Sheng

COVID-19 is currently making some severe situations in the US with skyrocketing confirmed cases and deaths, tugging the heartstrings of all the compassionate. However, when the ghastly virus keeps on claiming lives of numerous Americans, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo exposed his malicious intentions.

He spread dangerous “political virus” just in the way COVID-19 did and fabricated rumors with prejudices and ignorance, which counteracted the joint efforts of mankind to jointly combat the disease and set the whole world into conflicts.

Disregarding the rampant spread of the virus, a common enemy of the mankind, he not only ignored the science-based instructions from international organizations and medical experts, but also sowed discords and launched unceasing attacks against China.

It is reported that he has denigrated China on many occasions, saying the country failed to report the outbreak in a timely manner and “destroyed existing samples”. Pompeo, together with his fellow politicians, demanded compensation from China for COVID-19 and accused the WHO of promoting China’s “disinformation” about the outbreak. Reports say that the former director of the CIA is transforming US Department of State into an intelligence unit.

Clinging to the Cold War Mentality, he wantonly started conflicts instead of caring for the vast number of Americans on the brink of death. In total disregard of facts, he stigmatized China and made China a scapegoat in an attempt to shirk responsibilities. The undercover intention was to deflect attention at home and shift the blame to the innocent. He must be held accountable for all his evil acts.

Even the US media cannot tolerate such “political virus”. Washington Post remarked that “while more responsible leaders have struggled to contain the pandemic, Pompeo has pursued pet causes.” “He has dedicated himself to affixing blame to Beijing for the epidemic,” and “Pompeo’s pandemic performance ensures his place among the worst secretaries of state ever.”

Groundless allegations against China cannot hold water. Faced with the horrific spread of COVID-19, China reported the outbreak to WHO, shared the genome sequence of the virus with other countries, and carried out international cooperation to contain the virus, all at the earliest time possible. These are plain facts for all to see, and have been widely acknowledged by the international community.

The Communist Party of China and the Chinese government have always given top priority to the lives and health of the people, and fully safeguarded people’s right to life, health and other basic human rights. The country has admitted all suspected and confirmed cases for treatment, and tried its utmost to offer free testing and treatment for the patients.

China’s arduous efforts yielded remarkable phased results within two months, and the lives and health of all 1.4 billion Chinese people have been protected to the highest extent possible. As the Communist Party of China (CPC) has been dedicated to wholeheartedly serving the people, it is highly trusted by the Chinese people.

It is crystal clear who is the first to sound the alarm for the prevention of the virus; who placed people’s lives above everything else and saved lives and cured patients at all costs; who took the most strict measures and mobilized the whole country; who shared the results of scientific research on the virus with the international community in a spirit of openness and transparency; and who shouldered its international responsibilities by lending a helping hand to countries with vulnerable public health systems. All these facts cannot be denied.

When the world was in dire need of joint efforts to defeat the common enemy, Pompeo and his fellows stirred up troubles, regarded China as their rival and created the absurd “political virus”. Such practice would only undermine the joint efforts from the international community. Their wrong values and logic disclosed the ill intent to frame China and cover up their own incompetence.

They defied the golden rule of defeating the virus with international cooperation, single-mindedly drove a wedge in the world and impeded international cooperation. Like what US scholars said, they are the accomplice of the virus.

These moves could not cover up Pompeo’s failure in tackling COVID-19 as he wished, but only exposed more of it as the situation in the US deteriorates. The country must take actions before it’s too late.

China urges Pompeo and the like to stop the anti-China rhetoric, abandon the old-fashioned Cold War Mentality, and respect the right to life and health that should be equally shared by all.

It is high time that they saw the truth, kept their mouths shut and listened to the fair judgement of the international community.

The virus knows no races and the pandemic respects no borders. For countries to tide over the public health crisis, the top priority and the only way out is to make concerted efforts. Pompeo and his fellow politicians should realize that making up rumors cannot defeat the virus, and attacking and smearing others cannot save lives.

At the moment, the US side should meet the Chinese side halfway, implement the important consensus of the two heads of state, focus on cooperation, eliminate disturbances, jointly shoulder the important responsibilities of protecting lives, and push forward the development of China-US relations along the right track. This conforms to the fundamental interests of the two peoples, and the shared aspiration of the international community.

(Zhong Sheng is a pen name often used by People’s Daily to express its views on foreign policy.)

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