Edition: English | 中文简体 | 中文繁体 Монгол
Homepage > News

Fooling the public is no way out of a pandemic

Editor: Zhang Jianfeng 丨CGTN

03-24-2020 09:37 BJT

Editor's note: The following article is taken from the Chinese-language opinion column "The Real Point."

The New York Times on March 20 published an opinion piece, listing a series of facts about the COVID-19 outbreak where the U.S. President Donald Trump has been inconsistent. The article, titled "Don't Let Trump Off the Hook," pointed out that the president and his Republican Party "are trying to distract you from their catastrophic failure."

Columnist Jamelle Bouie pointed out in the article that after downplaying the severity of the threat posed by the virus to the United States for nearly two months, Trump claimed "I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic."

When it comes to China, Trump was first to praise China's government for its handling of the epidemic, saying "The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency," but later shifted to blaming China by referring to the disease as the "Chinese virus."

As the author said, "Trump failed to act when it was most important, and now his allies are flooding the zone with rhetoric meant to move attention away from the president's poor performance and toward an argument over language."

How the Trump administration has been handling the pandemic has ignited increasing anger among the public.

The fact that some senators, politicians and celebrities enjoyed privileges such as preferential COVID-19 tests, and sold stocks based on information obtained before the market plunged, provides evidence that the idea of "all men are created equal" as written by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence has been shattered by the reality of American society.

The United States has become one of the hardest hit countries around the world. Researchers from Columbia University have issued a warning that if the United States doesn't introduce control measures, the number of new cases per day could reach 500,000.

Two months on from the country confirming its first COVID-19 case, governors of almost all the states are still complaining about the lack of medical supplies and test equipment. It remains difficult for ordinary people to get tested.

Democrat Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, has questioned the U.S. president's slow reaction to the pandemic. He said "there are millions and tens of millions of Americans who don't understand what you are doing right now. You are not using the tools of your office. This is one of the greatest emergencies our nation has faced in generations. Every tool must be brought to bear. For some reason, you continue to hesitate … You are watching and waiting and missing every chance to be bold, and to act to protect our nation."

Instead of focusing on how to better control the spread of the virus, the Trump administration seems more interested in blaming the problems on others.

As Stephen Roach, a senior fellow at Yale University's Jackson Institute of Global Affairs, pointed out, Washington's China bashing is more an outgrowth of domestic problems than a response to a genuine external threat and "fixating on scapegoats is apparently much easier than taking a long, hard look in the mirror." But that's not the right approach to safeguarding the health and lives of American people.

As some U.S. internet users said, the U.S. government should first come up with a plan to provide supplies to medical institutions rather than being obsessed with a propaganda war.

Follow us on

  • Please scan the QR Code to follow us on Instagram

  • Please scan the QR Code to follow us on Wechat