A family walk on Madison Avenue wearing protective masks during the coronavirus pandemic on April 08, 2020 in New York City. Photo: AFP
The novel coronavirus is the common foe of humanity. But when the global anti-virus fight has reached a critical stage, Washington provokes disputes about who should be held accountable for the pandemic, making it the second political battle besides the global virus fight.
The US is definitely second to none among all countries in terms of the poor anti-virus performance. With the most national strength and the best public health facilities, the US did nothing when the virus set its footprint on US soil and became the new epicenter of the pandemic. So far, there are more than 430,000 confirmed cases, with new daily cases reaching 30,000 and a daily death toll of nearly 2,000, the world’s highest.
All the advantages of the world’s most developed country have been eroded by the pandemic. The US has become the virus’ slaughtering field. It is also one of the most dangerous sources of infections and exports a large number of infected cases to its allies such as Australia. The severe setbacks of the US anti-virus fight will drag the entire process of the world’s containment of the virus.
The US is supposed to display its strong economic power and assist other countries in the face of a global public health crisis. But the epidemic made itself baffled enough. It is not capable of providing urgent medical supplies to its allies and countries badly hit by the virus. Instead, the US snatched up medical supplies from other countries. All these have disappointed the international community.
The US tries to protect itself when plunged in dilemma. But it has left the destructive impact to the world. When humanity needs unity most, the US government launched an ideological war to duck responsibility, pushing the international community to a state of division. The political selfishness of Washington has been substantially exposed.
It attacked China first, then took aim at the World Health Organization. These crushed world unity and confidence in fighting the pandemic and made people worry about the wider destruction the pandemic may cause. We are now living in a disorderly and chaotic world.
The vicious virus, the polarization of US politics and deepening international divergences have plunged humanity into unprecedented uncertainties. A jumbled, irresponsible and impulsive US greatly enhanced the risks the world is facing.
What’s worse, the US did not engage in any reflection, and the inability of its government was only attributed to partisanship. The anti-China element in its public opinion has been brewing with the instigation of the administration and some politicians. This has greatly crumbled the US’ self-correction ability.
The harm on humanity caused by a virus, no matter how frightening it is, only remains at the physical level. But the US destruction at the political level is amplifying this crisis that endangers global governance. Even if the pandemic is put under control, humanity has to face the turbulence post-pandemic. Such dual uncertainties have gone beyond the imagination of people even with their decades of living experience.
Can the US democratic system contain populist politics? We don’t know. For the Chinese people, it is necessary to remain steady and restrained, accelerate the pace of resumption of key national abilities, and prepare for the worst-case scenario.