By David Wong
After more than two months of nationwide efforts to fight against the coronavirus in China, the cumulative number of cured and discharged patients from hospitals has exceeded 88% of the total confirmed cases, and the number of newly confirmed cases has been returned to zero. Currently, there are only some imported cases that are being isolated from the community . There is no doubt that WHO and the international community accept that the campaign in China has achieved decisive and important results and the country’s existing cases will vanish soon. The Chinese government and people are proud of the country’s soft power, thanks to the traditional Chinese collectivism and culture.
Due to ideological differences, the western media would not chant the praises of China, but they cannot ignore the achievements of the Chinese campaign against the coronavirus. The Australian media has even alarmingly discovered that the Chinese Communist Party is teaching the western world a lesson.
More and more cases of coronavirus, meanwhile, have been confirmed in more than 100 countries and regions outside China, including the rapidly growing number of tens of thousands in the United States.
But the number of done virus tests in the United States is far below the number of people actually infected and the people who need to be tested. According to Zhong Nanshan, a well-known academician and chief expert on respiratory infectious diseases in China, the fatality rate of coronavirus in the United States is 3 percent. The figure is higher than in other Chinese provinces outside Wuhan, suggesting that many patients may go undetected.
America’s politicians have been quick to blame China and Europe for the outbreak, who should have focused on aggressive measures to halt its spread. WHO’s director-general Tedros Ghebreyesus criticized some countries have taken no action on the crises. He said in a conference on March 11 that we had never seen coronavirus cause a pandemic, for many countries or communities that are dealing with the large scale spread of the infection, te challenge is not whether they are able to do something, but how much they intend to do so. In the past two weeks, he said, there has been a 13-times of increase in the number of new cases of coronavirus diagnosed outside China.
American President Donald Trump, in a nationally televised speech, stressed that the coronavirus from the start is a “foreign virus” and a “Chinese virus”, originated in China and spread across the world. Many American politicians shared the same tone with Trump, and Mike Pompeo, the Secretary of State of the US, did not use WHO’s given name COVID-19, but called the coronavirus as “Wuhan virus”. US assistant national security adviser O’Brian went so far as to accuse China of covering up the outbreak. US politicians, led by the President, tried to downplay the outbreak at the start of the crisis, focusing instead on Trump’s re-election campaign, the volatility of stock market and the rise and fall of oil prices. When the outbreak surged to the point where it could not be covered up, they turned in a rush to transfer the contradictions, and took China as a scapegoat to guide the American people to blame and even hate China, so as to mitigate their administrative responsibilities.
Ironically, the next day after Trump’s televised speech, US capital markets reacted to the US leadership’s incompetence with a “circuit breaker” that push the DOW Jones down to 2,352 points, its biggest one-day fall since 1987. Market panic was exacerbated by multiple factors, with the VIX, the fear gauge, rising more than 40 per cent to its highest level since the 2008 financial crisis.
Are there any hidden outbreaks of coronavirus in the United States? This has been frequently questioned by the people. President Trump admitted that 29 million people caught the flu in the United States last year bringing deaths of more than 20,000. Since it is so, any of them in the flu deaths actually died of coronavirus? Here comes the answer.
At a hearing in the House of Representatives on March 11, Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), acknowledged that there are cases in the US where people who were diagnosed with the flu died from coronavirus.
We also saw a true story of covering up and allowing the spread of coronavirus. According to a New York Times report, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Washington, a Chinese-American Ms Helen (Helen Chu Y.) in the initial stage of the outbreak, noticed a new case of coronavirus in Seattle, Washington where she lives. She and her team had been trying to virus test the case in their lab, but officials of relevant departments kept rejecting her application.
The “confirmed case 1” from Seattle, who had traveled to Wuhan, was initially rejected for failing to meet the CDC’s strict testing criteria, and turned out to be positive for the new coronavirus eventually. The nation’s first case, No. 15, with an “unknown path of infection” in the United States, also failed to meet the CDC’s screening threshold and had to wait for several days before being allowed to test, and confirmed positive.
Helen’s team couldn’t wait. On Feb. 25, they took the plunge and decided to start testing for the coronavirus without government approval, but Washington State regulators urgently ordered her lab to stop testing. Helen’s test confirmed their worst fears – that a local teenager with no recent travel history had been tested positive. This indicates the new coronavirus has taken root in the United States. In just a few weeks, the virus has killed more than 20 people in the Seattle area, making the city the worst hit by coronavirus in the United States.
So far, there has been a severe shortage of nucleic acid testing kits in the United States for the coronavirus. The test can only be applied for people with severe symptoms, and many patients in urgent testing need couldn’t be arranged in time, and these patients are treated as influenza. A 32-year-old Chinese medical assistant in New York who knew he had coronavirus but was being treated for the flu waited for a week for his desired medication, a report says.
The entire NBA has been suspended after three players were diagnosed with the coronavirus. A number of team owners have suggested testing on every player in the league for during the suspension, only to be told that the testing kits are not enough and it is impossible for the NBA to test every player, no matter rich or famous. Anthony Fauci, President of the American Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), said: “the US health care system is not meeting our needs. It’s a huge failure, and we have to admit it.”
As of the morning of March 10, only 6,563 people in the United States had been tested for the coronavirus, according to the Huffington Post. Cortez, the youngest member of Congress, told Fox News on March 12 that it is difficult for the average American to get tested for a coronavirus, but it seems that the richer and more powerful you are, the more possible you can have it. If you’re not rich, it’s very difficult to get health care.
According to USA Today on March 12, several US media outlets quoted a US congressional doctor as saying that a third of the US population is expected to be infected with the coronavirus.
Since the end of February, the coronavirus outbreak in the United States has been growing faster and faster. A Chinese living America said that since the outbreak of the coronavirus in China, he has often heard biased remarks from American friends, such as China’s control of speech and cover-up of facts. However, China has made significant progress in controlling coronavirus, and has kept releasing public information on confirmed, suspected and fatal cases.
On March 2, when the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stopped updating its real time data on new cases of coronavirus, netizens in the United States turned infuriate. Although the government gave the reason that the local statistics were not accurate, so it was not necessary to report the outbreak in real time, many Americans still believed that the federal government was covering up the truth.
Us officials keep saying that ordinary people don’t need to wear face masks, and it’s true that most Americans don’t wear face masks. But is it really they don’t need the masks? How to explain about the driving force grabbing the masks and making the mask to the sky-high price? In fact, the shortage of masks in the United States is 99%, and most of the production is outside the country. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, if coronavirus were to become a pandemic in the United States, the total number of N95 masks needed would be 3.5 billion a year.
“The virus will not have a chance against us. No nation is more prepared or more resilient than the United States,” Trump said in a televised address, repeating his calmness in the face of the growing outbreak. But the situation is getting worse.
Nafeez Ahmed, an investigative journalist and director of a third-party laboratory, published an article on how America and Britain are maximizing the coronavirus deaths. Without effective community isolation and containment, the highest case fatality rate and worst-case scenario would be 1.5 million in the United Kingdom and 7.6 million in the United States, he said. He argues that the current response in the US and UK is leading to a trend towards higher fatality rates, rather than slowing the spread of infection. US President Donald Trump is about to preside over one of the most colossal public health disasters ever. Trump is only concerned about the direction of the stock market, he has banned European flights into the United States but it is too late, and he has not stopped the spread of the virus in the United States.
He said the UK and US governments have been unable to respond to the lack of health facilities and the coronavirus pandemic by trying to slowdown the spread of the virus and reduce the strain on overwhelmed health services, rather than focusing on national efforts to eliminate the virus at its source. There is even a theory in Britain of “herd immunity”, in which 70-80% of Britain’s population is infected with antibodies, given the lack of health facilities.
China’s “collect as much as you can” and “treat as much as you can” measures aim to provide nucleic acid testing to those likely infected, for the decision of hospitalization. This effectively blocks the source of infection.
The effective Chinese action called “joint prevention and control” is based on the system’s advantage, in which “mobilize the necessary resources for big undertakings” is a hallmark of China’s social management system. The measure of joint prevention and control associated with the community grid management enables governments at all levels perform efficiently the unified actions to backup each other. The logistics supply system combines with large-scale battlefield mode of medical reinforcement, such as using 10 to 15 days to build two large specialized hospitals. The cooperation of the people, the spirit of collectivism, professional dedication, are the basic factors of defeating disease in China. Very few countries are able to copy this unique system.
Professor Christian Drosten, a well-known virologist in Germany and director of the Charite Virus Institute in Berlin, who
was one of the co-discoverers of the SARS virus in 2003, believes that China’s anti-epidemic measures are highly customized and the international community should thank the Chinese government and the people for their great efforts and collective spirit.
In fact, when the epidemic has become increasingly serious in Europe, the United States immediately ceased the flights with Europe, but China responded differently. 1.8 million of face masks and a hundred thousand of virus detection kits were shipped without delay from China to the virus seriously hit European
countries including Italy and Spain, and medical experts were sent to Italy and Iran. Spanish netizens compared the two countries, saying: “Donald Trump treats us like a pest while China helps us. We all got the meaning of civilization wrong before.”
Diverting public anger towards China at the time when American politicians are incompetent to deal with the epidemic is also a selfish and immoral behavior. Chinese scientists point out that the coronavirus found in Wuhan may have been imported from other countries, not necessarily from China. At a briefing in Geneva on 28 February, WHO said the source of the coronavirus was still uncertain and that regional stigmatization should be avoided. The coronavirus is a global phenomenon, it exists all over the world. Its geographical origin is not blamable, and people should focus on how to deal with and contain the virus.
While the United States is facing an outbreak of the epidemic, U.S. Defense Secretary Esper on March 3 telephoned his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe to express appreciation for the efforts made by the Chinese military in the prevention and control of the epidemic. But just a week later, the USS McCampbell Destroyer entered China’s Xisha Islands,the territorial waters on a “freedom of navigation” mission, which was followed, verified and warned off by Chinese naval and air forces.
The United States continued making troubles for China during its all-out fight against the epidemic. On January 28, the US House of Representatives passed the Tibet Policy and Support act of 2019. On Jan. 30, U.S. Commerce Secretary Ross said a coronavirus outbreak in China could help create jobs in the United States. On February 15, the US Secretary of State, Defense Secretary and House of Representatives launched a fierce attack on the 5G products and technologies of China’s Huawei technologies at the Munich Security Conference in Germany. On Feb. 16, U.S. senator Tom Cotton said in an interview that the coronavirus may have come from a laboratory in Wuhan. On February 18, the Trump administration announced that it was listing five Chinese media organizations in the US as “diplomatic missions”, requiring them to register their employees and property in the US with the state department. On February 28, U.S. senator Rick Scott used the coronavirus outbreak to incite the “US-China unhook theory” in his speech. On March 2, the U.S. government announced that China’s official media staff in the U.S. be cut nearly in half.
Now China is on the verge of final victory against the coronavirus, and the United States is in the midst of an outbreak. The two countries’ vastly different approaches to the outbreak underscore the soft power struggle between the world’s two largest nations. The more trouble America gets into China, the more likely it is to get itself into trouble. Paul Hainle, a former national security council official, warned: “the Trump team is missing a golden opportunity to build trust with an increasingly powerful country, and as time goes by these sentiments and punitive policies will bite us back.”