Commentary: Washington's deadly coronavirus blame game

Source: Xinhua| 2020-03-24 19:42:46|Editor: xuxin
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by Xinhua writer He Fei

BEIJING, March 24 (Xinhua) -- Repeat a lie ad nauseam and it might come true. At least that's what some U.S. politicians believe.

As the COVID-19 caseload continues to spiral upwards in the United States, some Washington politicians, instead of focusing on containing the epidemic, have been on a systemic offensive to cover up their incompetence by trying to shift the blame to China.

But calling the pathogen a "Chinese virus" serves as nothing more than evidence that Washington has ulterior motives since it is known to all that the virus' origin remains undetermined and such a spurious argument only serves to stir up xenophobia, division and hate.

U.S. media have already reported rising incidences of hate in which Asian Americans have been spit on, yelled at and even attacked in the country. This is counterproductive at a moment when solidarity and trust are desperately needed for the people in the United States to brace themselves to confront the challenge.

Furthermore, the use of the term "Chinese virus" runs counter to World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines intended to avoid stigmatizing a country or a particular group of people when naming infectious diseases. That's why the H1N1 influenza pandemic of 2009 is not called "the North American flu" despite originating from there.

Washington's stock-in-trade wastes the great sacrifices made by China to curb the virus' further spread and buy the world time, efforts that have been praised by the WHO and world leaders.

The current campaign to smear China also illustrates Washington's defiance against scientific common sense.

Although COVID-19 was first reported in China, scientists have yet to determine the virus' origin. Giuseppe Remuzzi, director of the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research in Italy, recently told U.S. National Public Radio that strange pneumonia cases appeared in Italy as early as November, which could mean the virus was circulating in parts of Italy before the outbreak in China.

Also, Robert Redfield, director of U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, admitted earlier when testifying to the U.S. Congress that some Americans who seemingly died of influenza tested positive for the novel coronavirus in a posthumous diagnosis.

As the number of confirmed cases surpasses 40,000 and continues to surge in the United States, self-serving attempts to blame China will only make Washington hooked by its own lies. Criticism of the U.S. government's epic failure in handling this public health emergency is continuing to mount.

The global pandemic is spreading to more countries and infecting more people. To beat this deadly disease, all nations must come together.

The United States, the world's sole superpower, can and should play a major role in this fight for the ages. Those in the White House and on Capital Hill should quit lying their way out of the crisis. Time - now more than ever - is of the essence.