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What are the sources of the political pandemic virus?

Jun Sheng / Khmer Times Share:
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is one of several US politicians accused of politicising the Coronavirus pandemic in a bid to get President Donald Trump re-elected in the Nov 3 poll. AFP

While the biological virus is a common enemy of humankind, the political virus born out of certain US politicians is equally detestable because it has damaged the global anti-epidemic cooperation and impeded the long-term development and progress of human society. The virus in the political world has done even more damage than the virus from the natural world.

What are the sources of this political virus then?

It is rooted in the selfish interests of a handful of US politicians. Not long ago, the US media revealed that senior US officials had handed down documents to a number of federal agencies requesting all federal employees to speak consistently about the pandemic and blame China for everything. The document was practically a confession of the US government on how it implemented the buck-passing. As 2020 is the US’ election year, some US politicians are so crazily intent on fabricating all kinds of fallacies about “holding China accountable”, attacking the World Health Organization (WHO) for being too “China-centric” and even criticising some state governors for poor epidemic responses, all to keep the epidemic from affecting the election. Such unscrupulous “political shows” reflect how desperate these politicians are to cover up their misconduct both in the decision and execution of their response, with the purpose of deflecting the public grumble.

The political virus is a tumor stemming from racism. After the WHO and the scientific circle named the Novel Coronavirus COVID-19, some US politicians deliberately ignored the new nomenclature and insisted on calling it the “Chinese virus”. It is an international consensus not to label a virus with a region, state or nation, which is also a universal principle that the international community should uphold. Yet these US politicians are determined to defy the world by intentionally steering public opinions in the direction of racism and xenophobia and practising racial discrimination. The use of the term “Chinese virus” for Coronavirus laid bare the absolute absence of common sense, conscience, cooperative spirit and morality in those politicians infected with the “political virus”.

The political virus derives from the Cold War mentality. A small group of US politicians have been obsessed with political manoeuvre and slandering China, especially the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who has been busy fanning flames and spreading rumours. The “political virus” ingrained in their mind is the hotbed of all their vicious intentions. They have the wishful thinking that accusing China of the so-called “mask diplomacy” would offset its influence; vilifying China’s aid to help build the African Centers for Disease Prevention and Control as an attempt to “steal genome data” would drive a wedge between China and Africa; and egging other countries to claim reparations from China would pin the “original sin” of the virus on the country. These whimsical whoppers are nothing but Washington’s attempts to curb China’s development.

The political virus is rooted in the obsession with “great-power competition”. The US government labelled China and Russia as the biggest challenges to US national security in its latest National Security Strategy and National Defence Strategy and declared the re-emergence of great-power competition. During this global crisis of COVID-19, certain US politicians, going out of their way to make “ammunition to win the great-power competition”, have gone all out to oppose China in every possible way and tried hard to cover up US embarrassment of ineffective epidemic control measures by smearing China, rather than focus on preventing the virus spread. As we can never wake up someone pretending to be asleep, perhaps the best way is to leave him alone and “not even turn our eyes in his direction”, as the famous Chinese writer Lu Xun once said.

The disease has seeped down into the skin and should be treated before it gets worse. The world is still struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic and all countries need to join hands in defeating it. We advise the US politicians with ulterior motives to stop the misdeeds and change course before it’s too late. We also call on the international community to stay on high alert and take strong measures to prevent the US political virus from spreading to do more harm to the global anti-epidemic efforts and the normal international order.

The author is a correspondent from China Military Online

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