Times Square billboards display messages to insurance companies that the most vulnerable businesses, such as restaurants and hospitality venues, need more support to survive the coronavirus pandemic in New York City. Photo: AFP
US Republican Congressman Michael McCaul on Monday released an interim report titled “The origins of the COVID-19 global pandemic, including the roles of the Chinese Communist Party and the World Health Organization.”
The report criticized China’s alleged concealment of the COVID-19 spread. It also called for “new leadership at the WHO,” and an international investigation about the early stages of the COVID-19. It also wants, “concrete reforms to the International Health Regulations.”
However, according to the Democracy Perception Index 2020, a report released by Germany’s market research company Dalia Research on the same day, almost all 53 countries interviewed say that China’s response to the COVID-19 is better than that of the US.
A comparison of the two reports shows that the US still has not given up its politicization and stigmatization of China’s efforts to combat the epidemic. Many US politicians’ views, in this respect, are radical. However, this has not changed other countries’ objective evaluations of China’s COVID-19 fight. These countries have recognized the effectiveness of China’s epidemic prevention and control.
It’s long been the US strategy to use democracy to promote its global influence. However, the survey results of the Democracy Perception Index 2020 show that this strategy doesn’t work effectively now. Just look at the US’ COVID-19 situation. If other countries had dealt with COVID-19 in a way the US did, the global death toll would have been much higher. The US has shown its hypocrisy to the world.
McCaul’s report criticized China’s purported virus concealment. This is dominated by Washington’s pre-determined political stance to blacken and suppress China. This does not fairly assess China. To some extent, certain members of the US Congress want to use the report to cover up the Trump administration’s failure in the battle against COVID-19.
The US has been extremely irresponsible in dealing with the epidemic. This will lead to two consequences. First, international cooperation on COVID-19 fight will be hindered. Second, the US’ domestic epidemic situation will not be alleviated. It may even worsen. The number of deaths may continue to rise. This is mainly because certain US politicians have been trying to cover up their incompetence in the crisis. They have put their own political interests above American people’s lives. This is indeed an unfortunate tragedy for the American public.
Despite continuously rising confirmed COVID-19 cases and death toll, more American people believe Washington’s response to the epidemic is better than that of China, according to Democracy Perception Index 2020. This shows that many American people have twisted ideas about China’s COVID-19 fight due to some US media and politicians’ extreme and irrational smear campaign. As a result, many American people have believed their lawmakers’ demonization of China. They have lost their basic judgment.
McCaul’s report made three suggestions, including calling for new leadership at the WHO. These suggestions are highly unlikely to be adopted. Due to the “America First” policy, the US has become extremely destructive of the stability of global order it established after World War II. People have seen that US political elites are extremely irresponsible. They have abandoned their own people and international affairs. In the face of the pandemic, US politicians have blamed China and the WHO instead of admitting their own failures. This is typical bullying.
The US’ international image is in total decline. Its COVID-19 fight has been a failure. Under such circumstances, if the suggestions of some US politicians become a reality, the global anti-pandemic efforts will suffer a serious setback. Some US politicians vent their sentiment by making absurd suggestions, but people around the world will not be fooled. US political elites have underestimated other countries’ abilities to understand the complexity of the global pandemic situation.
The article was compiled by Global Times reporter Li Qingqing based on an interview with Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of China Foreign Affairs University. [email protected]