Commentary: Racism worse enemy than epidemic

Source: Xinhua| 2020-02-07 22:14:47|Editor: huaxia

BEIJING, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- While the people of China are striving for victory in the battle against the outbreak of novel coronavirus, certain Western media outlets and officials are generating a cacophony out of prejudice, rumors, discrimination and racism.

German magazine Der Spiegel published a commentary by Stefan Kuzmany, head of Der Spiegel's opinion and debate section, in which he used discriminatory language to describe China and the Chinese people, even saying that "a little racism is fine." The Wall Street Journal carried a recent article by Walter Russell Mead who used an outdated phrase to mock the Chinese people under the epidemic.

Such clickbait headlines can draw more eyeballs, but they have betrayed journalistic ethics and tainted the real meaning of "freedom of expression." The crisis of the epidemic outbreak will be over, but racial discrimination is a disease more difficult to eradicate.

Some Western politicians have also made racist remarks that are more dangerous than the virus, calling for their citizens to leave China as soon as possible, sowing fear and panic by using hearsay that there might be no commercial flights taking them to other countries in the next few weeks due to possible travel restrictions.

Instead of offering solidarity and support, these politicians have chosen to spread fear and panic among people to pursue their private gains. Combatting the novel coronavirus is more than just the battle against the disease. It is a test of morality which these politicians have failed to pass.

In fighting the virus, China has taken the most comprehensive and rigorous prevention and control measures. It is the unswerving efforts of the whole nation that have helped keep the mortality rate at the current level -- much lower than the 2019-2020 seasonal influenza in the United States -- and prevented the epidemic from becoming a global pandemic.

The numbers of patients being cured and discharged from hospitals are on the rise day by day. The fatality rate and the daily number of fever patients are both dropping. Businesses are resuming operation orderly.

The United Nations, the World Health Organization, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have all praised China's efforts to fight and overpower the common enemy of global public health and growth.

Despite the isolated emergence of racism, it is sympathy, unity, rationality and conscience that define this community with a shared future for humanity.