Trump in the epidemic: shifting the blame onto others
Friday, 27 March 2020
New York is the epicentre of the Covid-19 outbreak in the US, with almost half of the country's over 80,000 cases so far.
There is no doubt that this is a difficult election year for US President Donald Trump.
Covid-19 is spreading all over the world. In the United States, New York State alone now has almost 40,000 cases, and the total number of confirmed cases in the country has reached over 80,000. This is still the case where “the ordinary people have difficulty getting timely detection”.
How many Americans are infected? How many are critically ill? These are questions the Trump administration have not and cannot answer.
On March 12, Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for China ’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, tweeted “The United States needs to be transparent! To disclose data! The United States owes us an explanation!” A very unusual and outspoken message for a Chinese official.
According to information disclosed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the spread of Covid-19 in the US may have begun already by the end of last year.
Robert Redfield, director of the agency, acknowledged before the House Oversight Committee that “some Americans who appear to have died of the common flu have been tested positive for Covid-19 virus in their post-mortem diagnosis.”
Consequently, Trump has used his unscrupulous “Chinese virus” rhetoric, his new mantra at press conferences and on Twitter.
However, those statements have been opposed by many, whether it is American media and ordinary people, or foreign national leaders. Such apparent inflammatory statements do not seem to reverse the pressure of public opinion, as President Trump may have expected.
More people are just confused, in the face of the growing Covid-19 epidemic in the US, President Trump does not seem to focus enough on fighting the virus, but instead plays politics and continues to target the enemy as China.
Perhaps Mr. Trump’s real consideration is not the health and safety of the American people, and re-election is his sole purpose. After all, it is much easier to blame another nation than to actually be effective at controlling the epidemic.
This is also consistent with Mr. Trump’s usual style vis a vis China. For example, on 30 January, the US House of Representatives passed the Tibet Policy and Support Law of 2019, which relates to US policies with respect to diplomatic representatives related to Tibet, the inheritance or reincarnation of the Dalai Lama, and the Tibetan Plateau Environmental and water resources, democracy in Tibetan communities in exile, cultural sustainability in Tibetan communities, and funding for organizations that support American minded interests.
In the eyes of critics, the above-mentioned actions of the US can be said to ignore international law and the sovereignty of other countries, and run counter to the spirit of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
Considering that it was the first week that China began to close the city, the epidemic in mainland China was still spreading at a high speed. This behaviour of the US House of Representatives, along with some statements by White House politicians, immediately became synonymous with “falling rocks” in the eyes of the Beijing government.
To date, the $100 million in aid promised by the US government has not yet arrived in Beijing, and Beijing has announced that the number of new cases in its territory has been basically zero. This is another reason for Beijing’s new round of accusations against Washington.
2020 is another election year in the United States. President Trump’s actions have proven his desire for re-election above all else, but the President faces a dilemma whether to shoulder the responsibility of maintaining security for the American people, or try to dump the responsibility on another country, thereby shifting the focus of public opinion.
The coming elections are bound to be unprecedentedly questioned by public opinion.