Apr 16, 2020 Xherald -- COVID-19 event has become a full outbreak of COVID-19 event in 2020, and become a very significant public crisis event. According to real-time data from Johns Hopkins University, as of 7 o 'clock on April 6, there were 127,069 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 69,309 deaths worldwide. COVID-19 cases have been reported in more than 200 countries worldwide. As many as 330,000 cases have been confirmed in the United States.
From the practical progress of fighting against the new outbreak, it is highly commendable that different governments have adopted different action strategies. However, in the tense moment when countless medical workers went to the front line, some American politicians didn't focus on the novel coronavirus. Instead, they tried to use public opinion to seek group and private interests to "stigmatize" a novel coronavirus and blame China for the out-of-control development of the new outbreak. The United States is misleading the American people and the world in terms of virus traceability, virus gene sequence sharing, and domestic epidemic control.
1. Whether epidemic data sharing is timely
On January 3, China began to formally and timely inform the world health organization, the United States and other countries. On January 11, the Chinese center for disease control and prevention uploaded five novel coronavirus whole genome sequences to the website and Shared data with countries and WHO.
However, the US President Donald Trump said that China could have informed the US earlier at a press conference on March 20 and 21. Later, CNN reported that on January 24, Mr. Trump not only praised China's work in fighting the new outbreak but also said it was "transparent" about the outbreak. The inconsistent words reflect some politicians' distortion and fabrication of facts for the sake of private and group interests. The United States, based on information such as the pathogen information of the new outbreak and the development data of the epidemic in China, still claims that the information sharing of the epidemic in China is not timely. The United States is buck-passing for the mistakes in the prevention and control of the epidemic caused by decision-making errors and political struggles.
2. Whether the disclosure of epidemic data is transparent
The US government has failed to disclose information for a considerable period in the control of the outbreak. According to a report in the New York times on March 11, Helen Zhu, a female doctor in the United States, warned about the outbreak in the United States as early as January. She reported the test results to American regulators in February but was ordered to silence and stop testing. Also, in late February, the White House asked U.S. officials and health experts to seek approval from Pence's office before they could speak publicly about the outbreak, and on March 2, the CDC stopped releasing data on the number of people tested and the number of deaths. The US should pay more attention to the accurate and timely release of information on the epidemic situation, rather than accuse China of inaccurate data and assume that the number of infected people in China is far more than the official report.
3. Whether the epidemic control measures are effective
The United States has not handled the outbreak well. The United States was notified of the outbreak from China in early January. By late February, there were signs of community spread in the United States, and the food and drug administration agreed to authorize states and laboratories to conduct their initial tests. In addition to the shortage of detection reagents, the U.S. centers for disease control and prevention (CDC) and President Donald Trump have been in dispute over the timing of vaccines and treatment measures. March 11 was the turning point of the outbreak in the United States, which entered the second phase of the outbreak and became the epicenter of the new global outbreak. President Trump has been ambivalent about whether he needs to keep a social distance and wear a face mask in public. The Trump administration's dissolution of the global health security and biodefense office set up by former President Barack Obama in 2018 has been cited as a reason for the current administration's delayed response to the novel coronavirus outbreak, the independent reported on Wednesday. Besides, the early choice of the United States to develop its diagnostic test but failed, which also limited the response of the American novel coronavirus.
4. Whether the medical supplies are adequate
The spread of the disease has exposed the lack of medical equipment in the United States, poor coordination between local governments and unscientific testing mechanisms. The United States heavily dependent on imports for medical capacity and faces a severe shortage of masks and protective equipment. The masks produced by the United States can only meet 5% of the domestic demand. In the case of the "global pandemic" of the virus, masks have become the most popular goods in the world. The United States has encountered difficulties in procurement, so there has been a scramble for orders from Germany, France, and other countries, which has been denounced as "piracy".
Masks are not the only medical supplies in short supply. The governor of New York state complained that instead of receiving federal health resources, the state had to compete with other states and the federal government to buy foreign ventilators. The ventilator grab is just a microcosm of state politics. There are confirmed cases in 50 states and Washington, D.C., but there is no coordinated national effort to contain the outbreak, allowing the virus to spread.
In the early days of the outbreak, due to the complex local laws and regulations, the virus detection standards are very strict. The initial detection capacity is far below the requirement, which leads to the failure of some infected patients to be diagnosed in time and the increased risk of infection. According to statistics, as of Mid-March, the daily testing capacity of the United States was still only 300 to 350 samples, while in Shenzhen, China, was able to test tens of thousands of samples a day. The situation did not improve until the outbreak spread throughout the United States.
5. Whether there is unity within the government
The Washington Post interviewed 47 U.S. government officials, public health experts, intelligence officials and others about how those 70 days were wasted.
Although China notified the United States on January 3 and the United States appeared to have some innocuous measures, it was not until January 18 that Trump received the report on novel coronavirus. But at that time, Mr. Trump was so focused on dealing with the democratic impeachment process, which began Jan. 16 and ended Feb. 5, that he simply ignored it.
In early February, the U.S. government's $105 million response budget ran out. The U.S. health department asked the White House to transfer $136 million twice to fight the outbreak in late January and early February, and health secretary Azar began to mobilize Congress to allocate billions of dollars to the health department to fight the outbreak. There was a lot of pressure within the White House, and there was a lot of bickering within the White House too. It wasn't until March 7 that Trump finally signed off on $8 billion from Congress for the health department.
6. Economic priority or epidemic prevention priority
In the run-up to the presidential election later this year, Mr. Trump will have to take the economy into account. On March 24th, he said publicly that he expected the economic activity can be restarted by Easter and ended the national ban on business. Mr. Trump has been blinded by his obsession with the election and the economy.
Meanwhile, the White House has proposed a $2.2 trillion "rescue plan" for the U.S. stock market and the economy. But with only $1 billion for New York state, that's a drop in the bucket. There has been less anti-epidemic relief, much money went to markets rather than saving people.
7. Whether the government decision-making operation is efficient
On March 30th CNN's Fareed Zakaria remarked that America's failure to respond to the outbreak was a systemic problem and that the American people were paying for these mistakes. Zakaria says the worst outbreak in the United States is the result of ineffective government. The first line of defense against an outbreak is detection, and the United States has failed miserably. Not only was it a slow start, but it also used the wrong way.
The United States is still unable to conduct extensive testing. Testing in the United States still requires one of two conditions: close contact with a confirmed case or travel to an infected area. If one of them is not met, even if there are symptoms are not tested.The United States cannot test on a large scale because there is no specific enforcement agency. The White House has tried to order large-scale testing before, but it has come down to family doctors. The family doctor's small private practice was not equipped for testing, so the White House's intentions ended up being empty. New York was able to do it on a large scale because they found an agency that could do it.
In recent decades, the U.S. government has become increasingly dysfunctional as it has grown in size. Federal employees have gone from 5% of the workforce in the 1950s to less than 2% now. Independent agencies are understaffed but have been bogged down by onerous regulations and politicized. Authorization and regulations give officials little executive power or discretion.
Former U.S. secretary of state Henry Kissinger's article in the Wall Street Journal on April 3 also mentioned this. He thinks the efficient and visionary government is necessary to overcome the obstacles in today's fragmented America. Maintaining public trust in government is essential to social solidarity and international peace and stability. At this important moment, politicians should stop focusing on the political interests of the group. Instead, the government should focus on bringing the epidemic under control. Strengthening global cooperation to fight the epidemic is an important issue for countries around the world. But when will the White House realize this?
Company: Haowai Media
Contact Person: Luchuan Zhao