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Politicizing coronavirus is a shameful act

By  Wen Wu (People's Daily Online)    18:44, March 18, 2020

Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus epidemic (COVID-19), certain selfish and short-sighted American politicians and members of the media have made the COVID-19 situation worse through their discriminatory remarks and double standards.

These cases are not difficult to find. Wilbur Ross, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, said COVID-19 could force companies to relocate manufacturing to the United States; U.S. politician Kevin McCarthy referred to COVID-19 as the “Chinese coronavirus”.

These people who have politicised the virus show no respect for science and international consensus, and are setting the wrong example.

These unfriendly remarks have created panic, spread rumors and prejudice and undermined global efforts to fight COVID-19. Time and facts will prove that the “political virus” based on ideological prejudices and double standards is more horrifying and harmful than the coronavirus. Politicizing the virus is nothing but a fig leaf used by U.S. politicians to cover their incompetence in preventing and controlling COVID-19.

Just because the coronavirus first appeared in China doesn’t necessarily mean it originated there. Currently, infectious disease experts around the world are looking for the origin of the coronavirus, and have not yet come to any conclusion on the matter. Against such a backdrop, it is totally unreasonable to call the coronavirus a “Chinese virus”.

Robert Redfield, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said that it was wrong to refer to the novel coronavirus as a "Chinese coronavirus."

The World Health Organization, the World Organization for Animal Health and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations have made it clear that the name of a virus does not refer to a geographical location, an animal, an individual or group of people.

By breaking international rules, certain American politicians have actually been spreading a Cold War mentality represented by beggar-thy-neighbor unilateralism, which will only lead to a lose-lose situation.

The virus poses a common threat to mankind. Certain politicians will only bring shame to themselves by laying the blame on the place where the virus first appeared. The H1N1 flu that broke out in the United States in 2009 spread to 214 countries and regions, killing 18,449 people that year. No one asked the U.S. to apologize.

In dealing with other viruses, such as MERS, Ebola, and Zika, the international community went all out to fight them, instead of blaming the country where the virus broke out. This is a scientific attitude.

Adopting an indifferent attitude, profiting from other countries’ troubles and remaining narrow-minded will harm others without benefiting oneself. Promoting solidarity and cooperation is the only way out. This is common sense, and is recognized by anyone with a conscience and morality, apparently with the exception of certain American politicians.

China was the earliest victim of COVID-19, and the largest contributor to efforts to curb it. It is the hard work from all walks of life in Chinese society that has earned precious time for countries around the world to prevent and control the epidemic.

At the same time, China has strengthened cooperation with the international community, helping Italy, Iran and other affected countries fight the virus. China has demonstrated the role of an open, transparent and responsible major country with practical actions and demonstrated the rich significance of the meaning of a shared destiny of humanity.

Accusations and slander will neither erase China's contribution, nor "make America great again." No politician can blame others for their inability to cope with the epidemic. It is even more shameful and sad to divert the public’s attention by making racist remarks. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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