(Continued from Wednesday)
"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."
Mr. Arriola is president and publisher of AseanTimes Magazine.