Bannon leads activists in anti-China charge

Source:CGTN 04-05-20 10:16 Updated BJT
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Ultra-right political strategist Steve Bannon has attacked China's COVID-19 prevention and control measures, claiming that it should be held financially accountable for the pandemic. His remarks ignore the facts and international law, attempting to shift the blame onto China as U.S. infections surpass a million and its economy experiences the sharpest downturn since the 2008 financial crisis.

The former Trump strategist has always held aggressive far-right political views, regularly advocating racism and xenophobia. Since his removal from the White House in August 2017, Bannon has continued to frame China as the major "threat to America" in a desperate attempt to salvage his doomed political career.

The global spread of the novel coronavirus seems to have provided Bannon with a new opportunity to sow the seeds of his political virus. In an interview with CNBC's flagship show "Squawk Box", he accused the Communist Party of China of trying to "protect it going around the rest of China but they didn't care about it going around the rest of the world."

Despite the far-right agitator's attempt to blackmail China and turn the international community against it, his nonsense will not alter the facts. Since the coronavirus outbreak, China has dutifully reported the situation to the World Health Organization, shared the virus' genetic sequencing as soon as it became available, and immediately engaged in international cooperation with experts.

According to Dr. Gauden Galea, WHO Representative to China, the WHO received an informal notice about the virus from China as early as December 31, 2019. From January 3, China regularly briefed the UN agency, as well as other countries and regions, which included the United States. There were two American experts on the WHO's team that arrived in China for an inspection tour in February.  

To curb the virus' spread, China imposed an effective lockdown on the city of Wuhan, which later inspired others to undertake similar measures. Data models produced by experts working with the WHO found that China's travel restrictions slowed the virus outside China by up to three weeks. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres hailed the sacrifice as a great contribution to all mankind.

No matter how many lies Bannon tells or how many excuses he finds, the demand for compensation is groundless and not in accordance with international practices. No compensation was requested following the H1N1 flu that originated in the U.S. in 2009 and subsequently spread to 214 countries and regions. Likewise, no reparations were sought after HIV/AIDS first emerged in the U.S. in the 1980s or the financial crisis that swept the globe in 2008.

While the likes of Bannon scratch around in the dirt for reasons to demand compensation, scientists continue to search for the origin of the virus and a vaccine. Humankind is the victim. The U.S.' enemy is the virus, not China. The pandemic is a disaster that spread regardless of boundaries. We are all in this fight together, therefore cooperation is the only right choice for all countries.

U.S. citizens should realize that if they become sidetracked by people like Bannon, they could lose control of their prevention and control work, throwing the country's future into turmoil. The biggest threat facing the U.S. is not the new virus, but rather right-wing populists who are intent on creating trouble with their strain of political virus.

Editor: Zhang Jianfeng
04-05-20 10:16 BJT
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