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Experts urge Sino-US cooperation in outbreak

By LIU YINMENG in Los Angeles, HONG XIAO in New York and CHEN WEIHUA in Brussels | China Daily | Updated: 2020-04-06 00:00
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More than 90 high-level former United States government officials and US-China experts are calling on the world's two largest economies to enhance cooperation to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic, which has threatened the lives of billions of people around the globe.

"We want to encourage a global effort with America's allies and friends and other nations to meet the coronavirus challenge. This is all about saving lives-American lives at home, and the lives of others abroad," said Stephen Hadley, who served as the national security adviser under former president George W. Bush.

Hadley was one of the signatories who jointly released a statement on Friday. The statement, signed by a group of prominent diplomats and White House officials, called for China and the US to help each other out by pointing to the areas where the two could find common ground and work together.

"No effort against the coronavirus-whether to save American lives at home or combat the disease abroad-will be successful without some degree of cooperation between the United States and China," it said.

China's factories can make the protective gear and medicines needed to fight the virus, it stated. China's medical personnel and scientists also can share their valuable clinical experience and work with their counterparts in the US to develop the vaccine and treatment to curb the disease.

As of Sunday, COVID-19 had infected more than 1,090,000 people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization, and the John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center reports that more than 312,000 people in the US have been infected.

In recent days, the two nations have stepped up their efforts to unite under a collaborative front against the virus. Shipments of urgently needed medical supplies have been made from China to the US.

A donation of 1,000 ventilators from China to New York arrived at the city's JFK Airport on Saturday, and they are expected to make a "significant difference" in the state which is now the country's epidemic center.

"We finally got some good news today. The Chinese government-helped facilitate a donation of 1,000 ventilators. I thank the Chinese government, Jack Ma, Joe Tsai, the Jack Ma Foundation, the Tsai Foundation and Consul General Huang," New York Governor Andrew Cuomo tweeted earlier on Saturday.

"This is a big deal, and it's going to make a significant difference for us," Cuomo said at his daily news conference on Saturday.

Cuomo said at a briefing on March 27 that he was trying to obtain 30,000 ventilators for when the disease hits its apex in the state in mid-April, as health experts have predicted.

He reiterated the importance of a ventilator so a seriously ill person can breathe. "If the person comes in and needs a ventilator and you don't have a ventilator, the person dies," Cuomo had said earlier.

The shipments also contained 1 million surgical masks, 1.3 million KN95 masks and 100,000 medical goggles.

Since US President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping pledged in a phone call to cooperate in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic on March 27, a number of Chinese provinces and cities including Jiangsu and Shanghai, as well as companies such as Huawei, Tencent, China Construction and Bank of China, have donated millions of medical items to state and local hospitals in the United States, according to a statement by the Chinese Consulate General in New York on Friday.

Also on Friday, the World Health Organization warned countries that the coronavirus could resurge if they rush to lift restrictions quickly.

"The best way for countries to end restrictions and ease their economic effects is to attack the coronavirus, with the aggressive and comprehensive package of measures that we've spoken about many times before: find, test, isolate and treat every case and trace every contact," WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

Tedros warned that if countries rush to lift restrictions quickly, the coronavirus could resurge and the economic impact could be more severe and prolonged.

Trump said on Saturday that the US "cannot remain shut down forever".

"Mitigation does work, but again, we're not going to destroy our country," he said. "I've said it from the beginning-the cure cannot be worse than the problem."

Global deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic have soared past 60,000 and the US has more than 8,400 reported deaths from the virus. The number of crew members on the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier who have tested positive for the coronavirus rose by 13 percent in the past 24 hours to 155, the US Navy said on Saturday.

Pan Mengqi in Beijing and agencies contributed to this story.


New York City has set up an emergency field hospital in Central Park. The city had 60,850 COVID-19 cases as of Saturday. REUTERS



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