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Whole world paying price for Washington's 'political virus': China Daily editorial | Updated: 2021-08-01 19:29
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The United States is undoubtedly suffering from a grave resurgence of the novel coronavirus. With more than 100,000 new infections appearing each day on the weekend, it has neared the level of "the darkest days" during the previous Donald Trump administration.

Despite being the country with the most abundant supply of COVID-19 vaccines in the world, the vaccination rate in the US has stagnated after reaching 40 percent a couple of months ago, staying at about 48 percent now, well below the level of 70 percent that the Joe Biden administration vowed to realize by the end of July. That explains why on Friday President Joe Biden called on state and local governments to give $100 to those opting to take jabs, to encourage more people to be vaccinated.

Partly thanks to the anti-science legacy of the Trump administration, the US has both the highest number of COVID-19 cases and the highest number of deaths caused by the virus. As of Sunday the total number of infections in the US had reached more than 35 million among which nearly 630,000 people have died.

Despite the appearance of new strains of the virus, particularly the more contagious Delta variant, which has forced many countries and regions to impose new lockdowns and prompted them to limit close contacts, the Biden administration's efforts to tame the virus have been hampered by the unwillingness of many people to get their COVID-19 shots and maintain social distancing, even to wear face masks.

In other words, US society has not yet come to terms with how big a threat the virus is. No wonder some state governments are openly playing down the situation in a bid to avoid hurting the local economy.

And the Biden administration cannot blame it all on its predecessor, as except for the fast implementation of its national vaccination program in the first few months after it took office, the ingrained anti-science mentality in US society has been reinforced by the administration's organized and systemic endeavors to try and politicize the pandemic, particularly its relentless efforts to scapegoat China for it.

Instead of focusing on controlling the virus at home and maintaining the momentum of the vaccination drive, the administration has spent the past few months trying to coerce the World Health Organization to deny the findings of its team of experts that conducted field research in Wuhan. It is now attempting to manipulate the WHO in a so-called phase two origin tracing investigation in China.

A misjudgment that both the Biden and Trump administrations seem to have made on the pandemic and China is that they believe that merging the two challenges into one can save the US half the input required to tackle them. But by doing that they have ignored the real problems the US faces.

The US and the world have been paying the price for misjudgments of the Biden and Trump administrations. The question is how long they will continue to do so.

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