Facts about the United States failing to address the COVID-19 pandemic, spreading the virus, and shifting blame
To divert the attention of the international community from the origins tracing of the virus, the U.S. side has repeatedly accused China of interfering with the investigations by launching an information war and spreading fake information. In fact, China's request for the United States to accept the WHO's origins-tracing investigation is based entirely on public reports by U.S. media. According to these reports, it is an indisputable fact that the United States has failed to address the pandemic.
During the fight against COVID-19, a series of problems emerged within the United States: politics overrode science; the government made mistakes in terms of decision-making; there was lack of coordination on a national level; measures against COVID-19 were not implemented well; there was also inadequate testing; and there was lack of information disclosure.
Internationally, the United States has become the largest spreader of COVID-19, suspect source of the pandemic, and disruptor of the global fight against COVID-19. On the issue of COVID-19 origins tracing, the United States has so far refused to respond to reasonable concerns raised by the international community over such issues as Fort Detrick, the biological laboratory of the University of North Carolina, and more than 200 overseas U.S. biological labs, in an attempt to cover up the truth and evade responsibility. The United States owes the world a fair explanation. Here are just a few cases in point.
1. Fort Detrick in the United States is the base of the U.S. biological militarization activities. The U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) in the base has the most prominent problem, with many suspicions related to SARS-CoV-2. The military base has inherited the devilish legacy of Unit 731 of the Imperial Japanese Army, which waged an aggression war against China. The international community has long had concerns over Fort Detrick's illegal, non-transparent, and unsafe activities.
◆Fort Detrick was the center of the U.S. biological weapons program in history, with the USAMRIID as the main research entity. Fort Detrick, also known as the U.S. government's darkest experiment center, continued the development and storage of biological warfare agents even after the United States renounced all offensive biological weapons programs in 1969 and ratified the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) in 1975.
The USAMRIID, which has the U.S. military's sole BSL-4 lab, stores almost all known deadly pathogens, such as Ebola, anthrax, smallpox, yersinia pestis, and coronaviruses including SARS. Several members of the USAMRIID staff have conducted researches related to SARS, MERS, and other coronaviruses. In 2003, after the SARS outbreak, the USAMRIID worked with Ralph Baric's team from the University of North Carolina and developed a novel reverse genetic system for synthesis of a full-length cDNA of the SARS-CoV, which was published in a paper. The paper claimed that within two months after obtaining the RNA of the SARS virus, the full-length cDNA of the virus was successfully synthesized, which shows that as early as 2003, these institutes already had advanced capabilities to synthesize and modify SARS-related coronavirus.
Academic papers: Methods for Producing Recombinant Coronavirus, Cynomolgus Macaque as an Animal Model for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, MERS-CoV Pathogenesis and Antiviral Efficacy of Licensed Drugs in Human Monocyte-Derived Antigen- Presenting Cells, Reverse Genetics with a Full-length Infections cDNA of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus.
In 2007, the USAMRIID published a paper on the Journal of Virology about using the Ebola virus to conduct animal testing on rhesus monkeys. The virus strains used in the experiment were obtained through reverse genetics techniques with the furin cleavage site specifically removed so as to observe changes in virulence of the viruses. The furin cleavage site is believed to be one of the reasons that makes SARS-CoV-2 highly virulent. In 2018, the USAMRIID carried out experiments on African green monkeys, which were experimentally infected with MERS-CoV to help study viral pathogenesis and develop vaccines. After the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, the USAMRIID and the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research worked together to develop a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.
Academic papers: Proteolytic Processing of the Ebola Virus Glycoprotein is not Critical for Ebola Virus Replication in Nonhuman Primates, African Green Monkey Model of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) Infection.
◆Multiple bio-safety incidents have occurred in the USAMRIID.
In 2001, five people were killed in an anthrax attack in the United States, and the suspect was a former employee of the USAMRIID. In 2009, U.S. officials found during an inspection of the USAMRIID that some pathogens studied in the facility were not listed in its database. Part of the lab's research was suspended as a result.
In May 2014, the U.S. Army was sued for loopholes in Fort Detrick's disposal of toxic waste, which caused the level of trichloroethylene in the area to be 42 times as high as the federal standard. In February 2015, 106 families and individuals from Frederic County of Maryland filed a class action lawsuit against Fort Detrick for harm and death caused by exposure to hazardous materials from Fort Detrick and asked for 750 million U.S. dollars in compensation. However, the U.S. government and the Army have consistently denied wrongdoing.
During an inspection by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to the USAMRIID's BSL-4 lab in June 2019, serious violations were found. The CDC asked the lab to be shut down in July 2019, with all research work halted. The CDC report laid out seven violations:
First: The USAMRIID systematically failed to ensure implementation of biosafety and containment procedures. Specifically, lab personnel were found to leave a door open while removing large amounts of biohazardous waste, greatly increasing the risk of pathogens escape and environment contamination.
Second: An individual partially entered a room multiple times without the required respiratory protection while other people in that room were performing procedures with a non-human primate on a necropsy table, resulting in a respiratory occupational exposure to select agent aerosols.
Third: The lab did not ensure that employee training was properly verified when it came to toxins and select agents, making it unable to assess whether lab personnel understood and commanded necessary skills.
Fourth: Lab personnel did not wear gloves when disposing of biohazardous waste.
Fifth: The lab failed to safeguard against unauthorized access to lab waste. Contaminated personal protective equipment was stored in specific area, but such area did not limit access to those with access approval.
Sixth: Lab personnel did not maintain an accurate or current inventory for a toxin.
Seventh: A lab building and its interior facilities did not have a sealed surface to facilitate cleaning and decontamination. Cracks were found around a conduit box, in the ceiling, and in the seam above a biological safety cabinet.
The lab resumed operation in November 2019, but what had been done to address the violations was not made public.
◆After the lab was shut down, outbreaks of respiratory diseases occurred in nearby communities. In July 2019, 54 people in Greenspring, Virginia displayed respiratory symptoms including cough and pneumonia. The community is only one hour's drive from Fort Detrick. According to a Virginia state health official, the number of reported respiratory cases in the area went up nearly 50 percent in the summer of 2019.
◆In July 2019, a mysterious pneumonia outbreak associated with e-cigarette use was reported in U.S. state of Wisconsin. Symptoms included shortness of breath, fever, cough, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, dizziness, and chest pain. Starting from then, an unprecedented outbreak of lung disease spread across the country. As of Dec. 17, 2019, more than 2,500 hospitalizations had been reported across 50 states. Experts believe this type of disease might represent one or more new clinical syndromes, and more research is needed to determine the cause.
Academic paper: Pulmonary Illness Related to E-Cigarette Use in Illinois and Wisconsin--Final Report.
Articles published on mainstream international journals and media, such as the Lancet, said that it was difficult to distinguish between e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury (EVALI) and COVID-19, which was later discovered, because some of their symptoms are similar, which could added difficulties to diagnosis.
After studying 250 chest CT scans and clinical information from 142 EVALI patients selected from some 60 related studies that have been published, some leading Chinese experts who once fought the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan found that 16 of the EVALI patients were part of a viral infection chain, which indicates that they could have had COVID-19. Five of the cases were determined as "moderately suspicious," who have relatively complete clinical symptom and treatment information. In 12 of the 16 EVALI patients, symptoms started before 2020.
◆In March 2020, the public initiated a petition on the White House petition website, asking the U.S. government to disclose information related to Fort Detrick, especially the reason why the USAMRIID lab was shut down in 2019 and whether it had anything to do with COVID-19. The U.S. government made no response, and the petition website was taken offline.
2. Safety accidents occur frequently in the University of North Carolina's biological laboratory.
◆From January 2015 to June 2020, the University of North Carolina reported 28 lab incidents involving genetically engineered organisms to the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Six of these incidents involved coronaviruses including SARS, MERS, and SARS-CoV-2. Many of the viruses had undergone genetic engineering. Eight researchers may have got infected. Except for a researcher quarantined for 14 days at home after a mouse bite caused potential exposure to a strain of SARS-CoV-2 in April 2020, other members of staff facing risks of infection continued their work and life as normal. Besides, key details like the nature of the genetic modifications and how the incidents were handled were deliberately removed from the incident reports, and the public was not informed of the potential risks.
3. The United States has the world's largest number of biological labs with the least transparency.
◆The United States has over 200 overseas bio-labs in 25 countries and regions including Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and the former Soviet Union. The sites where some bio-labs are based have seen outbreaks of large-scale infectious diseases. A Russian official has said that Russia believes that labs under U.S. control along the Russia-China border are developing biological weapons. Officials from Ukraine, Georgia, Iran, and other countries have all expressed concern about the security of U.S. labs overseas and the clandestine activities they have been engaging in.
◆In September 2021, Russia's Sputnik news agency reported that the Korea Fire Safety Education Culture Association (KFSECA) sued the Fort Detrick biological laboratory and the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK). South Korean military figures have revealed that the USFK had brought in anthrax samples 15 times from Fort Detrick, and the U.S. forces even set up a biochemical lab at the Busan port. Sources said the South Korean civic group sued the U.S. army and Fort Detrick out of fear that anthrax bacteria had been used as a biological weapon. Fort Detrick shipped the dangerous substances to the U.S. biochemical lab in South Korea, indicating that the United States is working on something big.
4. Professor of the University of North Carolina Ralph Baric, known as the "Coronavirus Hunter," has acquired a technique to modify a virus without leaving a trace, and has long been conducting close collaboration with the U.S. military.
◆Baric said in an interview with an Italian media outlet in September 2020 that "it is possible to engineer a virus without leaving a trace."
◆In 2003, a paper of which Baric was a co-author showcased the power of this technique. In the research, scientists successfully resurrected a SARS virus. Later Baric and others applied for a patent for this achievement, which was approved in 2007, with the patent code US7279327B2.
◆With this technique, Baric began collecting samples of various coronaviruses around the world for research. According to the MIT Technology Review, Baric aims to resurrect and create more coronaviruses in a bid to develop drugs against the viruses.
◆In May 2020, WRAL, a local channel of NBC News, reported that Baric's research on coronavirus was seen by some as groundbreaking, but by others as reckless. They fear that if Baric's technique is not used properly, or if the viruses that he researched were leaked, there could be dreadful consequences.
◆The United States is the biggest sponsor and experimenter of gain-of-function studies on coronaviruses in the world. The method of chimeric virus required for the gain-of-function experiment is the exclusive patent of Baric, and the auxiliary software and gene comparison equipment required for this technology are also unique to the United States. Anyone who uses the technology needs to obtain authorization and will leave traces. Baric has mastered a method to modify and even enhance coronavirus through reverse genetic technique. According to MIT Technology Review, with the help of this technique, Baric can not only "bring an actual virus to life from its genetic code," but also "mix and match parts of multiple viruses" to create a new one.
◆Baric has collaborated closely with two institutes at Fort Detrick involving in research on high-risk viruses, including coronaviruses, which are the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) and the Integrated Research Facility at Fort Detrick (IRF-Frederick). A large number of scientific papers showed that Baric has conducted many studies about coronaviruses with the USAMRIID. In a paper carried by Nature in 2018, Lisa Torzewski, a researcher at the Fort Detrick Complex Research Facility, worked with Baric to infect some monkeys with genetically modified MERS viruses.
◆Lisa Hensley, one of Baric's students, was a scientist with the USAMRIID. She worked with Baric for many times and later joined IRF-Frederick as the deputy director of this U.S. government research institution. Baric's rich resources on coronaviruses and his technique of transforming and creating the viruses have been widely used in Fort Detrick through those cooperation and contacts. However, the USAMRIID, IRF-Frederick and even Baric's own laboratory at the University of North Carolina in the United States all had bad safety records, and they are all directly related to P4 laboratories engaging in the research of the most dangerous viruses.
5.The United States has the most advanced medical technology and the most complete medical system in the world, but it has become one of the countries with the largest number of confirmed cases and virus-related deaths, which fully reflects the country's impotent response to the epidemic.
◆The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a public health emergency of international concern on Jan. 30, 2020, but the United States did not declare a national emergency until March 13 that year. While many countries encountering the COVID-19 outbreaks concurrently with the United States have effectively controlled the epidemic, the situation in the United States is still worsening. Although the United States stays far away from Wuhan, the capital of central China's Hubei Province, the country has been lagging far behind the neighboring provinces of Hubei in epidemic prevention and control.
In contrast to China's response to the epidemic, the U.S. government squandered 70 days before declaring a national emergency until March 13, though it was notified by China of the new virus on Jan. 3. If counting from Feb. 2, when the United States closed its border to all Chinese citizens and foreign nationals who had traveled in China within the previous 14 days, 40 days had been wasted before March 13.
◆On Oct. 7, 2020, U.S. media quoted an internal government memo as saying that the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 related to the White House had risen to 34, and that the source of the infection was probably the Supreme Court nomination ceremony held by then U.S. President Donald Trump in the Rose Garden of the White House on Sept. 26, which was defined as a "super-spreading event." There are videos and photos showing that less than a third of people attending the event wore face masks, and almost no one maintained safe social distancing.
On Oct. 8, 2020, the New England Journal of Medicine said in an editorial that leaders of the United States have failed the test produced by the COVID-19 crisis, and they "have taken a crisis and turned it into a tragedy."
In October 2020, the Independent Task Force sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations, a well-known U.S. think tank, released a special report titled "Improving Pandemic Preparedness: Lessons from COVID-19," which reflected on the problems and defects in the U.S. response to the pandemic. The report said that the U.S. government "lacks a strong focal point and expertise at the White House for ensuring pandemic readiness and coordinating an effective response," adding that "despite intelligence and public health warnings of an imminent pandemic," the country did not "act quickly enough in mobilizing a coherent nationwide response, wasting precious weeks that could otherwise have been used to implement a nationwide strategy and capacity for testing and contact tracing to identify new infections and reduce their spread."
Without clear federal guidance, "many states relaxed these public health measures prematurely, resulting in new spikes," the report said, mentioning that the Trump administration was in error in terms of public health risk communication. The report continued that U.S. officials failed to offer the public "clear, reliable, and science-based information about the risk of infection; to adequately defend public health officials against harassment and personal attacks; and to release timely guidance on the utility of the public health measures implemented to combat the spread of the disease."
The report said the COVID-19 pandemic showed "tremendous confusion over the respective responsibilities" of federal, state, local, and tribal governments, adding that the pandemic exposed "the nation's inadequate investment in state and local health systems." There is a lack of coordination in the U.S. and global pandemic preparedness and response, said the report, adding that the pandemic "has exposed the lack of a multilateral mechanism to encourage the joint development and globally equitable distribution of lifesaving vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics." Besides, the pandemic revealed "the limitations of existing national and global systems of epidemic threat surveillance and assessment, which left public health officials and researchers without access to timely data," it wrote.
◆In August 2021, Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China, Taihe Think Tank and Intellisia Institute jointly released a research report entitled "'America Ranked First'? ! The Truth about America's Fight against COVID-19." The report said the United States is a "failed country in fighting the pandemic," which resorted to covering up the truth using anti-science and common sense fallacies, politicizing, and using monetary measures to fight the pandemic. During the process, the wealth of the rich has "ballooned," whereas the lives of ordinary people have "deteriorated," said the report, continuing that the U.S. society has been "torn apart and racial tensions have intensified." The U.S. federal system under the partisan contest "failed to take on responsibilities, giving prevarications at different levels," which constituted a "Disunited America" image in the fight against the pandemic, said the report.
The United States, the report said, has an unshirkable responsibility for the global spread of the pandemic, because in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, more than 20 million U.S. citizens traveled abroad. In addition, the United States exported less than one percent of its vaccine production by practicing "vaccine nationalism," said the report. Besides a refusal to international vaccine cooperation, Washington has engaged in "virus origin tracing terrorism," putting the presumption of guilt against other countries, and disrupted the international order of pandemic responses by "withdrawing from the WHO and rejoining the WHO."
◆The blame game between the two parties in the United States on anti-epidemic issues has never stopped. Since the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak, some politicians from both parties have been fighting over how to treat and respond to the pandemic, politicizing anti-epidemic measures and prioritizing "party rivalry." As a result, the U.S. federal government and local governments, even states dominated by different parties, have taken different measures to fight the pandemic and made uneven distribution of resources. Even the simple question of whether to wear a face mask or not has sparked a political battle. Some U.S. media said that the response of the U.S. people to the pandemic has laid bare the political lines of Red-Blue divide.
In June 2021, 16 Republicans in the House of Representatives jointly proposed a bill to prohibit commercial companies, hospitals, nursing homes, universities, insurance companies and others from forcing or otherwise requiring their employees, customers or students to be vaccinated.
In late June in 2021, Ted Cruz, Susan Collins and other senior Republican senators jointly launched a motion urging the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) to lift the mask mandate, which took effect in February 2021. The mandate, one of President Joe Biden's new policies, requires all people taking public transportation to wear masks, and stipulates that offenders may face criminal punishment. However, Cruz and other Republicans said that vaccinated people do not need to follow the mask order.
6.The U.S. government downplayed the epidemic, delayed reporting and concealed the facts, which led to the massive spread of the pandemic.
◆Bob Woodward, a U.S. investigative journalist, revealed part of the interview recordings of then U.S. President Trump in his new book "Rage," confirming that Trump had known the seriousness of the COVID-19 outbreak since the beginning of the crisis but still deliberately downplayed it in public. On Feb. 7, 2020, Trump told Woodward that he thought the novel coronavirus was thorny, while on Feb. 10 that year, Trump said at a public event at the White House that the United States was in good shape, and the virus would go away by April due to the warming weather. "I wanted to always play it down," the president told Woodward on March 19, adding that "I still like playing it down, because I don't want to create a panic." On March 25, Trump said at the White House press conference that no one could have predicted the epidemic situation. In an interview in July, Trump cleared himself of responsibility for the outbreak, saying that it was not his fault. Trump, Woodward said, could have underscored the COVID-19 threat in his State of the Union address in early February, but he failed to seize the opportunity. If Trump had told the U.S. people the truth in the first place and done a better job in fighting against the virus, so many innocent lives would not have been lost.
◆In early March 2020, the U.S. CDCP stopped updating and deleted data related to the COVID-19 tests and deaths on its official website.
◆In an op-ed published in August 2020 by British newspaper The Guardian, Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of medical journal The Lancet, said that Chinese doctors rapidly gave early warnings to the Chinese government, which quickly issued warnings to the whole world, but Western countries did not listen to these warnings. To blame China for this pandemic is to rewrite the history of COVID-19 and to marginalize the failings of Western nations, said Horton.
◆In May 2020, Rebekah Jones, who was a Geographic Information Systems manager for the Florida Department of Health and managed Florida's COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard, said in an interview that she was repeatedly instructed by the government to revise the confirmed COVID-19 cases, delete the data showing suspected cases earlier than the confirmed cases, and create false public opinion for the state to restart economic activities. As she refused to "manually change data," she was fired for "insubordination" and for being "disruptive."
7.The United States has muted the voices of professionals on the epidemic, and silenced scientists who hold different viewpoints, causing serious consequences.
◆On March 10, 2020, The New York Times published a report, titled "'It's Just Everywhere Already': How Delays in Testing Set Back the U.S. Coronavirus Response." The report recorded a series of efforts made by Helen Chu, an infectious disease expert in Seattle, at the beginning of the outbreak in the country, and the constant obstacles and suppression against her during that period.
In late January 2020, the first confirmed COVID-19 case occurred in where she lived. As Chu's lab was not certified for clinical work, she needed to apply for the authorities' approval to carry out the COVID-19 tests. But almost all the officials she approached rejected her request, and state regulators even asked her to stop testing altogether.
"We felt like we were sitting, waiting for the pandemic to emerge," Chu was quoted by The New York Times as saying. "We could help. We couldn't do anything." On Feb. 25 2020, Chu and her colleagues began performing COVID-19 tests without the government's approval. The outcome confirmed their worst fear. They quickly had a positive test from a local teenager with no recent travel history or contact record with a confirmed case. "It must have been here this entire time," Chu said. "It's just everywhere already."
◆Captain Brett Crozier was removed by the Pentagon on the grounds of "misjudgment" from his post as commanding officer of aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, after he boldly decided to disembark and isolate the crew who were grappling with the spread of COVID-19, so as to avoid the death of sailors out of a war. Later, Democratic members of the House Armed Services Committee issued a statement saying that "the COVID pandemic presents a set of new challenges and there is much we still do not know. Captain Crozier was justifiably concerned about the health and safety of his crew, but he did not handle the immense pressure appropriately. However, relieving him of his command is an overreaction."
◆Anthony Fauci, who has led the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and has advised six U.S. presidents on matters of public health, was frequently criticized by the White House for refuting the absurd remarks from Republicans. Fauci disclosed that his family had received death threats and had to seek help from the security services. More than 3,000 U.S. health experts signed a joint open letter criticizing the White House for deliberately damaging Fauci's reputation. The letter said that the COVID-19 pandemic is the biggest challenge the United States has ever faced, while the White House deliberately "discredited" Fauci, "marginalized" him and diverted the public's attention, all of which were "very dangerous."
◆Australian virologist Danielle Anderson received an email telling her to "eat a bat and die" after critiquing the "lab leak" theory based on her own experience in China. As she was attacked and sworn at by "vile" extremists from the United States, the expert had to call the police.
◆Rick Bright, who was abruptly dismissed as the director of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, said he believes his removal is a retaliation for his resistance to expand the scope of drug use in compliance with the demand by the government, and that his professional medical advice has received hostile response from senior officials at the Department of Health.
◆A group of ultra-conservative U.S. congressmen and far-right public officials are launching an organized and well-coordinated attack targeting prominent U.S. biological scientists, said Peter J. Hotez, a medical specialist, in an article published on Scientific American.
◆The U.S. experts working at the Lancet COVID-19 Commission were threatened to give up the widely proven natural origins hypothesis and turn to the lab-leak theory.
8. To serve its own political interests, the U.S. government kept resorting to scapegoating, spreading false information, and smearing other countries.
◆The United States has been sparing no effort to assault China with disinformation for a long time.
According to an article published on U.S. website Politico, the National Republican Senatorial Committee has sent campaigns a detailed, 57-page memo authored by a top Republican strategist advising GOP candidates to address the COVID-19 pandemic by aggressively attacking China.
The memo stressed three main lines of assault: That China caused the virus "by covering it up," that Democrats are "soft on China," and that Republicans will "push for sanctions on China for its role in spreading this pandemic," said the article. What's more, the memo said that Republicans have indicated they plan to make China a centerpiece of the 2020 campaign. Such cases show that scapegoating and assaulting China has become a whole-of-government approach amid the Republican Party's campaign.
◆According to U.S. media reports, on March 20, 2020, the White House National Security Council asked all federal agencies to ensure continuity of their talking points and disseminate through various channels that China is planning to cover up the epidemic, leading to a global pandemic.
On the same day, then U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told media that China, Russia and Iran are spreading misinformation to discredit the work done by the United States in epidemic prevention and control.
Such cases have laid bare the one who lies.
◆Jonathan D. Pollack, a senior fellow at the John L. Thornton China Center and Center for East Asia Policy at the Brookings Institution, said in an interview with U.S.-China Perception Monitor that by comparison with China, the United States "has done poorly" in terms of controlling the spread of COVID-19, and former U.S. President Donald Trump "is now blaming China and others for his own mistakes, but the virus is not a member of the Democratic Party or the Chinese government."
◆Since the onset of the pandemic, social media in the United States and Western countries have been flooded with conspiracy theories. Some U.S. officials, congressmen, media, and institutions have concocted and disseminated a large number of fallacies against China, providing no evidence, ignoring basic facts and carrying out presumption-of-guilt kind of smears and attacks on China.
◆The Grayzone, an independent U.S. news website, in April 2020 published an article revealing the process of how conservative journalists in the United States coordinate with the government to spread misinformation: The theory that COVID-19 escaped from a lab in Wuhan was fabricated by Josh Rogin, a journalist at The Washington Post. Using evasive rhetoric, Rogin based his article published on April 14 on a distorted cable from the U.S. embassy in Beijing, and made up a research scientist who was in fact a U.S.-backed anti-China activist. On April 15, the day after Rogin's op-ed appeared, Republican Senator Tom Cotton sold the conspiracy theory on Fox News, claiming that "the Chinese Communist Party is responsible for every single death, every job lost, every retirement nest egg lost, from this coronavirus." On April 17, then Secretary of State Mike Pompeo elevated the baseless theory to the global stage when he stated, "We are still asking the Chinese Communist Party to allow experts to get into that virology lab so that we can determine precisely where this virus began."
◆In June 2020, a report by the Australian Institute, a Canberra-based independent think tank, found out that there are many bot-like accounts on social media spreading rumors that the coronavirus is "a bioweapon created by China."
◆By quoting a so-called undisclosed U.S. intelligence, American correspondent Michael Gordon hyped up the fallacy that the virus was leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which he claimed was based on the information that "three personnel working at the lab were infected."
Nineteen years ago, it was this man who concocted the fake news that Iraq attempted to obtain nuclear weapons, which directly pushed the United States to launch the Iraq War. Nowadays, through similar maneuvers of quoting anonymous sources, he once again hyped up the baseless lab-leak theory of the virus, which is not to be trusted.
9. U.S. failing to control outbound tourists leads to outbreaks in other countries.
◆According to data released by the National Tourism Office of the United States, from April 2020 to March 2021, a total of 23.195 million U.S. citizens traveled abroad via air and land. The country was suffering the peak of the epidemic from Nov. 2020 to Jan. 2021, with its average daily confirmed new cases reaching 186,000. In the same period, the average number of U.S. citizens going abroad was peaked at 87,000.
◆From February 2020 to early January 2021, New Zealand imported 182 cases from the United States, the number of which ranked second in New Zealand.
◆On March 20, 2020, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that about 80 percent of the COVID-19 cases in Australia are imported ones, most of which are from the United States.
◆A study done by Tel Aviv University in Israel in May 2020 showed that about 70 percent of confirmed cases in the country were infected with virus straining from the United States.
◆A research by the National Public Health Institute of Quebec and the McGill Genome Center showed that the source of the epidemic in Quebec mainly strains from Europe and the Americas instead of Asia.
◆In April 2020, an investigation by Japan's National Institute of Infectious Diseases showed that the second wave of large-scale COVID-19 infections starting from March may have been caused by the imported cases from Europe and the United States.
10. Large-scale repatriation of illegal immigrants by the United States has exported virus to countries in Latin America.
◆Quoting the Customs and Border Protection of U.S. Department of Homeland Security, CNN reported that from March to September 2020, the United States had repatriated 160,000 illegal immigrants.
◆More than 60 institutions, including the Washington Office on Latin America in the United States, issued a joint statement condemning the U.S. administration for expelling illegal immigrants during the pandemic, which has put the world at risk. Of the deported Colombian immigrants, one third were infected with the virus.
◆In April 2020, health minister of Guatemala said 50-75 percent of the people repatriated from the United States have been diagnosed with COVID-19, accounting for 19 percent of the country's confirmed cases. On April 13, a total of 71 people on a flight carrying 76 repatriated people from the United States tested positive for COVID-19.
◆On June 18, 2020, an op-ed published by The New York Times titled "Why Is the United States Exporting Coronavirus?" pointed out that the United States, with the largest number of COVID-19 cases in the world, is now consciously spreading the pandemic beyond its borders by continuing to deport thousands of immigrants, many infected with the coronavirus, and that in this pandemic, mass deportations are not only cruel but also dangerous to public health abroad and at home.
11. The self-indulgence of U.S. troops stationed abroad intensifies the risk of infection in Japan and Korea.
◆In early July 2020, the governor of Japan's Okinawa Prefecture held a press conference saying that dozens of U.S. military personnel stationed in Japan have been diagnosed with COVID-19, who, however, refused to abide by the quarantine measures and reveled outside the base.
◆On Feb. 13, 2021, a soldier from the U.S. Osan Air Base in South Korea, ignoring the country's epidemic prevention policy, held a gathering at home, which were attended by 19 foreigners and two South Koreans. Confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported shortly after, and as of Feb. 22, nine participants had been diagnosed with the virus.
◆On May 31, 2021, a large number of U.S. military personnel stationed in South Korea gathered at Haeundae Beach in Busan for vacation and refused to wear masks, leading to discontent among local people.
12. Military exercises led by the U.S. may have led to infections in Britain and Thailand.
◆A spokesperson for the Royal Navy confirmed that the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth reported approximately 100 COVID-19 cases aboard the vessel two days after it joined forces with two U.S. Navy task groups the USS Ronald Reagan carrier strike group and USS Iwo Jima amphibious ready group for exercises.
◆According to a report by Reuters on Aug. 2, 2020, Thailand has suspended plans for its army to undertake joint training with the U.S. military after nine Thai soldiers tested positive for the novel coronavirus upon returning from Hawaii, said the country's defense ministry.
13. Upholding unilateralism, the United States turns away from international cooperation.
◆The United States, while clamoring to investigate national laboratories in other countries, is the only one opposing the establishment of a multilateral verification mechanism of biological weapons.
As early as 2001, as the international community was reaching an agreement on the verification protocol of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), the United States made a sudden and unilateral withdrawal from the treaty, citing the reason that "the BWC is unverifiable due to the complex, dual-use nature of biological materials, equipment, and technologies," which set efforts by the international community adrift.
For 20 years, the United States has ignored the voice of the international community and exclusively opposed the resumption of negotiations on BWC verification protocol. Even if there is no origin-tracing issue, the United States should give an explanation to the international community.
◆On May 19, 2020, the 73rd World Health Assembly unanimously passed a resolution to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, requesting to identify the zoonotic source of the virus and the route of introduction to the human population, including the possible role of intermediate hosts, to reduce the risk of similar events. The resolution was proposed by China along with 144 countries. The United States, however, were among the few countries that did not participate in the proposal.
◆In May 2020, Michael Ryan, executive director of WHO Health Emergencies Program, said that the body has not received any data or specific evidence from the U.S. government relating to the purported origin of the virus.
14. The United States continues to pressure the WHO and conducts political manipulation against China.
◆In early 2020, at a critical time when the world was fighting against the pandemic, the United States, which initially announced a funding cut to the WHO, terminated its relationship with the body, another example of the country's craving for unilateralism.
Such acts by the United States undermined the efforts by the international community in the fight against the virus. Washington failed to fulfill its due international responsibilities and obligations, and failed to undertake its responsibilities as a major country. The U.S. media condemned such acts for undermining international public health cooperation, which only bring harm and benefit no one.
◆In July 2021, Tom Fowdy, a British analyst of politics and international relations, said in an article published on Russia Today that U.S. political maneuvers had subjugated the WHO, and that more than a year ago, as the COVID-19 pandemic began to spiral out of control across the world, the United States had been setting out political narratives against China.
◆In Jan. 2021, Peter Daszak, president of the U.S.-based EcoHealth Alliance and a member of the WHO-led team investigating the origin of the pandemic, was threatened by U.S. politicians and had to quit the team when he denounced the smears by U.S. media that China was interfering in the WHO's research in Wuhan.
◆On July 28, 2021, at the briefing of the UN General Assembly independent panel for pandemic preparedness and response, the deputy permanent representative of the United States to the UN attacked China on the question of virus origin-tracing, which is irrelevant to the theme of the meeting, another example of the United States' interference in global health cooperation.
◆China proposed to conduct an inspection towards U.S. biological laboratories under the UN biosafety framework, and has submitted to the WHO two copies of non-paper -- "Doubtful Points about Fort Detrick" and "Coronavirus Research Conducted by Dr. Ralph Baric's Team at University of North Carolina," together with a joint letter by thousands of Chinese netizens calling for an investigation on the lab, requesting the body to conduct formal origin-tracing investigations on U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease and University of North Carolina.
No clear reply has been received so far. Enditem