The US, Powerless against the Pandemic, Should Not Judge Others by Itself


From Jan. 8 China has downgraded the classification of COVID-19 from “Class B-A” to “Class B-B” and is no longer imposing infectious disease quarantine measures on incoming travelers or goods. Outbound travel for Chinese citizens has also resumed in an orderly manner. Travel data showed that orders for air tickets for inbound and outbound travel on that day were at their highest since March 2020.

China has been preparing for this day for three years. After a hard struggle against the pandemic, China has taken the initiative to adjust its policies according to circumstances. This allows for better coordination of epidemic prevention and control and economic and social development and also facilitates the movement of people between China and other countries. Bloomberg commented that “Easier access will benefit many countries around the world that rely on Chinese tourists.”* Many leading international economic institutions have pointed out that the recovery of China’s economy is expected to accelerate, which is good news for the global economy.

However, something strange has also happened. Some U.S. politicians and media outlets that had previously clamored for China to relax its COVID-19 prevention policies have now shifted to attacking the changes that China has made to its epidemic prevention strategy. They say that the preparations are inadequate and have applied restrictions on Chinese tourists. The hypocritical double standard reveals a dark mindset of envy, jealousy and hatred toward China’s anti-pandemic achievements.

The global fight against the pandemic over the past three years has been a marathon full of hardships. China has proactively responded to this battle with a consistent principle of disease prevention as well as flexible epidemic control measures. Looking back, every prevention and control initiative taken by China in the past three years was a race against the clock and a battle against the virus to gain more time and space to respond. This was to protect people’s lives and health as much as possible and to limit the impact on economic and social development.

During the acute period of the pandemic China adopted strict prevention policies and won defensive battles one after the other in Wuhan, Hubei and Greater Shanghai. It effectively dealt with more than 100 epidemic clusters, withstood five global waves of disease and greatly reduced the mortality rate and the rate of serious disease. We have won three valuable “window periods:” a continued decline in the virulence of coronavirus variants; drug development, especially in traditional Chinese medicine; and widespread vaccination of the whole population. At present the vaccination rate of the Chinese population is over 90% and the cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccinations exceeds 3.48 billion nationwide, building up a strong barrier of immunity.

The sudden outbreak of COVID-19 three years ago put China’s health care and disease prevention systems to the test. But it also prompted China to improve its disease control network and strengthen its critical care resources. At the same time, health awareness and knowledge among the Chinese population has increased significantly and their ability to protect themselves has gradually improved. All of this has created favorable conditions for China to adjust its pandemic prevention policies. According to Mario Cavolo, an American who has lived in China for a long time, China’s choice to optimize its disease prevention policy is based on its experience and its preparation for actively fighting the pandemic for the past three years.

Taking the strategic initiative and creating optimal conditions through its persistence, China has been fighting a well-prepared battle for three years — very different from the U.S. with its approach of “opting out” and passive liberalization.

China is currently shifting gears in its prevention policy and will inevitably encounter issues. But if you look only for faults with a magnifying glass you won’t see the forest for the trees. People can see that China is doing its best to ensure a smooth transition in its pandemic prevention policy. It is expanding outpatient resources, using graded diagnosis and treatment, launching online consultations and increasing drug supply through multiple channels. The Chinese government has mobilized all its resources to protect key populations such as the elderly, pregnant women and children with underlying conditions and is doing everything to reduce serious illness or death. Based on scientific assessment the pandemic situation in China is completely under control.

It is not hard to know what has happened. Three years of effective fighting against the pandemic has led to a new phase in China’s disease prevention and control and is also a powerful boost to the world economy. By contrast, U.S. politicians who are used to finding fault with China have to ask themselves: Did you give any serious thought to pandemic prevention? How big are the loopholes in U.S. disease prevention strategies? How much damage has its passive approach to the pandemic done to the U.S. and the world?

Also, in the past three years, the U.S. government has been passive and lax in the face of the pandemic, repeatedly missing windows of opportunity. Federal and state governments have been fighting with each other, the two parties have blocked each other and politicians have been busy hustling for votes and cash. The U.S. has not been able to form a joint effort to prevent the pandemic and the public is at a loss. In particular, anti-intellectual and anti-scientific sentiments within American society have spread at the instigation of some unscrupulous politicians and have become accomplices enabling the spread of the virus. It can be said that the pandemic disaster encountered by the U.S. is not only a natural disaster, but also a man-made disaster caused by the failure of public health policies and of political institutions.

At present there is an epidemic of many viruses in the United States and the people are suffering. Instead of reflecting on their own dereliction of duty and negligence, U.S. politicians are trying to discredit the effectiveness of China’s fight against the pandemic and continue to politicize the pandemic to deflect this contradiction. This is such a clumsy performance, such a despicable ploy!

No matter how hard some people in the U.S. try, nothing will prevent China from running its own affairs and going its own way. Jan. 8 is a new beginning for China and for the world. Globally, most countries have welcomed China’s move. Those U.S. politicians who have no intention of fighting the pandemic and want to pass the buck will inevitably fail.

*Editor’s note: Although accurately translated, this quoted passage could not be independently verified.

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