BEIJING — The United States has hit a new grim milestone of 10 million COVID-19 cases earlier this week as the country continues to take the lead in global infections and deaths amid the raging pandemic.
The United States is the world’s most developed country. Yet instead of making contributions to global cooperation against the pandemic, Washington’s arrogance and ignorance has let the American people pay a heavy price, and is posing an unprecedented threat to global public health security.
Beating the deadly pathogen requires strong and concerted global response. Yet the United States has all along been a stumbling block to international anti-pandemic cooperation.
While such international bodies as the United Nations (UN) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have been in their best efforts to contain the outbreak and develop vaccines, Washington cut off its funding to the WHO and later withdrew from the world health body.
In September, Washington objected to a widely-supported resolution during the UN General Assembly that called for intensified international cooperation to contain, mitigate and defeat the COVID-19. And worse still, it was accused of “modern piracy” after reportedly diverting a shipment of masks and ventilators intended for Europe.
Washington’s selfish, anti-science and anti-intellectual attitude explains why the pandemic has become even deadlier on the U.S. territory and is consequently endangering the global health security.
In the early days since the outbreak, some US politicians intentionally downplayed the seriousness of the disease, attacking medical professionals like Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, scapegoated the WHO and other countries, and peddled misinformation on mask-wearing and social-distancing to the American public, leading to a massive outbreak in the United States, a country that boasts world-class medical expertise and technologies.
Such a wrong-headed Washington has provoked a backlash from the international community. After it pulled out of the WHO, Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza called the decision “serious and wrong.” “The health crisis has shown that we need a reformed and stronger WHO, not a weaker one,” he said. And his German counterpart, Jens Spahn, condemned the “setback for international cooperation,” saying that more global cooperation, not less, is needed to fight pandemics.
Viruses know no borders. As the pandemic in the United States has kept on hitting one grim milestone after another, the country’s sustained record-breaking surge in caseload is killing more Americans, threatening the health and lives of peoples in other parts of the world, and impeding global economic recovery. It is time for Washington to revisit its erroneous and highly harmful anti-pandemic approach.