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Trump blames WHO and China to distract from his failure in coronavirus response: CNN

(People's Daily Online)    17:15, April 14, 2020

The US now has the largest number of deaths from COVID-19 in the world, with the toll reaching 23,604 as of Tuesday morning. US-based Cable News Network (CNN) published an op-ed on April 12 analyzing the reasons why the US tops global coronavirus deaths.

According to CNN’s article, Americans will continue to die in large numbers until the country mounts a coherent response to the epidemic. “President Donald Trump has failed. The US still lacks even a basic plan for controlling the epidemic and restarting the economy.”

The article makes a comparison between the US' death toll and that of Asian countries to demonstrate the scale of the Trump administration's failure. The US now has about 62 deaths per million people. Meanwhile, the Chinese mainland, South Korea and Singapore each have under five deaths per million, it said.

“Unlike these Asian countries, Trump failed to prepare for the pandemic even after the alarm bells went off. He ignored urgent warning signs,” the article said.

It further noted that Trump, meanwhile, repeatedly fails to put public health experts truly in the lead. “He ignores the rudiments of basic public health and seems to view the epidemic in political and electoral rather than public health terms.”

As usual, Trump blames others for his own disastrous failings, with his latest target of attack being the World Health Organization (WHO), which plays a key role in helping governments around the world fight this disease.

Trump tweeted on February 24: "The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart." Yet now, he is turning on the WHO.

His allies in Congress follow his lead, calling for the US to cut off funds for the WHO in the midst of the pandemic. “It's hard to think of a more shameful policy that would put an end to any semblance of US global responsibility,” the article said, adding the Congressmen “should be focusing on the unfolding tragedy at home, rather than being agents of Trump's propaganda.”

According to the article, the attacks on the WHO are nonsensical. “All countries had access to the same information at the same time,” it said, adding that the WHO was just one source of information for the US and other countries, and the US has its own experts, intelligence agencies, and a network of epidemiological surveillance that could directly observe China's growing alarm and dramatic actions.

“The alarm bells were ringing from late December onward,” the op-ed said. “The director of the China Center for Disease Control personally called the director of the US Centers for Disease Control on January 3.”

Trump, it said, will continue to fulminate against the WHO and China and any other targets in order to distract attention.

“Yet the record is clear: China got the epidemic under control while the US did not. China implemented a strict national lockdown while the US did not. China deployed its top technologists and companies to do the job. In fact, Trump repeatedly praised China during February, only turning on China when the situation got tough in the US.”

“Unlike China, which turned to its public health experts, Trump turned to Vice President Mike Pence and son-in-law Jared Kushner,” it said. “Thousands of Americans are dying unnecessarily as a result and we are still far from any coherent national plan.”

The opinion writer’s advice for a national plan is to contact symptomatic individuals and quickly isolate them, trace and test their contacts, use phone apps and online registries to support the process, screen the public for symptoms in public spaces, and require people to wear face masks in public and use hand sanitizers relentlessly.

“We would be doing, in short, what the Asian countries have been doing to control the epidemic,” it said.

America's failure is plain for all to see, even if Trump loyalists are blind to it, the article said. “We are at the end of the ‘Wizard of Oz’ tale. The curtain has been pushed aside to reveal the con man behind the curtain. Our choice is like Dorothy's: to go home to the country of competence we once knew, or to remain in the deadly dream kingdom of Trump.”

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

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