Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with his US counterpart Donald Trump on the sidelines of a Group of 20 (G20) summit, in Hamburg, Germany, July 8, 2017. The two heads of state exchanged in-depth views on bilateral ties and global hot-spot issues. (Xinhua/Yao Dawei)
Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with his US counterpart Donald Trump on the sidelines of a Group of 20 (G20) summit, in Hamburg, Germany, July 8, 2017. The two heads of state exchanged in-depth views on bilateral ties and global hot-spot issues. (Xinhua/Yao Dawei)

Zhong Sheng

Some people in the U.S. are obsessed with rude and unreasonable practices despite the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus epidemic (COVID-19) in their own country. They intentionally fanned up the “political virus” with discriminatory remarks in an attempt to pass the buck to China.

They wrongly criticized China for a low level of transparency and openness regarding COVID-19 information sharing, and evilly fabricated rumor that China should be responsible for the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S. Such conducts are condemnable. What’s worse, these people even asked China to pay for the loss suffered by the U.S. during the epidemic, which is nothing but engaging in evil doings and malicious discrimination of the innocent.

Their fallacies couldn’t stand in front of the truth. China has been notifying the U.S. side of epidemic developments and control measures on a regular basis since Jan 3, and the next day the heads of Chinese and American centers for disease control and prevention spoke on the phone, agreeing to keep close communication on information sharing and technical cooperation.

Relevant organizations of the two countries have maintained close communication. In February, the China-WHO Joint Mission with two American experts on board conducted a nine-day field trip to China. China has shared its treatment experience with the U.S, and experts of the two countries have kept close technical cooperation.

The epidemic situation worsened in the U.S. since March, two months after the U.S. had been informed of relevant epidemic information. The U.S. side needs to reflect on what it has done to prevent and control the virus in the past two months.

Some people in the U.S. should at least remember what they’ve said. U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted on Jan. 25 that “China has been working very hard to contain the Coronavirus. The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency. It will all work out well.”

In a phone conversation with his Chinese counterpart President Xi Jinping on Feb.7, Trump expressed positive comments on China’s efforts on curbing the virus. On March 13, President Trump told reporters that the data China shared are helpful for the U.S. efforts against the epidemic.

On Jan. 27, principal health officials in the United States expressed appreciation over the Chinese government’s transparency in response to the outbreak and the ongoing bilateral cooperation in the health sector.

On Jan. 28, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar praised China for sharing the genetic sequencing of the novel coronavirus which enabled the U.S. to quickly invent a diagnostic test within one week.

These facts indicate that China has not impeded the U.S. efforts on coronavirus control, but offered assistance to the U.S. in this regard. Those U.S. politicians stigmatizing China are totally heartless.

The U.S. should blame itself for difficulties it has encountered in fighting against COVID-19. It is globally recognized that China has won valuable time for the world to fight coronavirus with its achievements in epidemic prevention and control.

The U.S. media outlets know how ineffective their government has been in front of the epidemic. Due to the failure of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to get working test kits into the hands of the public-health labs, a three-week delay was caused.

In addition, various organizations in the U.S. have been passing the buck to each other, and the White House has been understating the extent of the outbreak. According to the American public, the costly coronavirus testing is almost inaccessible.

Kurt Michael Campbell, formerly Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs of the U.S., said bluntly that China’s extremely strict epidemic control measures have won the U.S. a lot of time, but it’s not clear whether the U.S. has made effective use of the time.

China has demonstrated its responsibility in safeguarding global public health security, which is proved by the most comprehensive, strict, and thorough prevention and control measures it has taken. The World Health Organization (WHO) has repeatedly expressed that China, by adopting forceful measures against the virus, is protecting the lives of the Chinese people and people of the world.

Bruce Aylward, Assistant Director-General of the WHO, said China’s efforts have flattened the curve of the epidemic and prevented hundreds of thousands of cases of COVID-19 in China, and to achieve this, the Chinese people have made huge sacrifices.

China, sharing a common destiny with the world, actively offered assistance to other countries after the epidemic broke out overseas. The country has dispatched experts and donated prevention materials to affected countries, and exchanged virus control experience and treatment plans with the world, deepening international cooperation on virus control.

To laud China’s actions, admire China’s responsibility, and thank China’s assistance has become the mainstream voice of the globe.

What has the U.S. done to cope with the epidemic? It owes money to the WHO, and has planned to halve U.S funding for the organization in its 2021 budget proposal. When the epidemic broke out in China, the U.S. acted as an on-looker, pointing fingers at China’s prevention and control measures and even giving a stab in the back.

Now, as the epidemic satiation has worsened in the U.S., certain people there started to blame everyone but the U.S. itself. To smear China out of selfish political gains undermines the global efforts to fight the epidemic.

The world knows who is responsible and who are not. As the WHO has warned, slandering other countries and people carries a greater risk than the virus itself.

Some people in the United States are advised to lay down their political prejudices at an early date, isolate themselves from “political virus”, and join the global war against the epidemic. Otherwise they will not only hinder anti-virus efforts at home, but also impede the global endeavor.

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

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