Blaming China won't solve America's problems
A Report on US Response to COVID-19 and its Blame Game (July 21, 2020)
A Botched Response
Missteps and lost opportunities
Ignoring the science
Politics v.s. public health
A Senseless Blame Game
A timeline of Chinese transparency and response
A Way Out and Forward
Blaming China Won't Solve America's Problems
As of Monday, July 20, the US case tally for coronavirus that causes COVID-19 topped 3.81 million, with over 140,000 deaths, the highest case toll in the world, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University. Noting that the United States reported its first confirmed case on January 21, people in the US and around the world have been stunned by the surging cases which approached one million within 14 weeks, then surpassed the two million mark in 6 weeks and now hit the third million milestone in just four weeks, still showing no signs of ebbing. They can't help but wonder what's happened in the US and why.
A Botched Response
There is a general belief in the international community and among most Americans that the US federal government botched its initial response to the coronavirus outbreak.
President Donald Trump signed a national emergency declaration over the coronavirus pandemic on March 13, 70 days after the US government was officially notified of COVID-19 by China and the World Health Organization (WHO), and 50 days after the Chinese city of Wuhan with 11 million residents went into lockdown due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
During the span of these days, what was the US federal government doing to stem the spread of the virus? Were these days lost opportunities which should have been seized to better prepare for and respond to the outbreak?
"What a problem. Came out of nowhere." That's how President Trump described the coronavirus pandemic in early March, during a televised visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the US It is a big problem, indeed. But it did not come "out of nowhere".
Numerous news reports of interviews with current and former US officials, internal emails, memorandums and other recently unearthed evidence from Washington indicate that the White House was being warned of a coming pandemic and its possible consequences. Throughout January, as the White House repeatedly played down the seriousness of the virus and focused on other issues, an array of figures inside the government, from top White House advisers to experts deep in the cabinet departments and intelligence agencies, identified the threat, sounded alarms and made clear the need for aggressive action, according to the New York Times.
For weeks, however, repeated warnings went unheeded and the White House had been giving Americans the same "be happy, don't worry" advice: "We have it totally under control", and "USA in great shape!"