COVID-19 has made the situations across the world awful; people everywhere are terrified as to how much worse the coronavirus pandemic could get. Some believed that the virus came from consuming bats soup; a common delicacy in China. Social media in China has spread stories that the United States military germ warfare programme has caused the pandemic; rumours that gained considerable traction scientists have demonstrated that the virus structure is entirely natural in origin.
President Donald Trump has repeatedly chosen to call the coronavirus the “Chinese virus”. With the aftermath of the Huawei issue in the US (The controversy is based on the suspicion that the company is working for the Chinese government. People fear the equipment is being put in place to conduct illegal surveillance), the two-year-long trade war; it was difficult to completely mend the relations between the two countries. Now with the outbreak of the virus and its spread has made it harder to expect peace among two of the world most powerful and biggest economies.
The outbreak had made the Republic of China to think quickly, building new temporary hospitals for treating the COVID-19 infected patients in the city of Wuhan at a fast pace. However, in China, it has been recorded that over the past few days, there have been no new cases of COVID-19. However, this does not stop the leaders of other nations from being frustrated and infuriated by the consequences of this fast-spreading virus that is alleged to originate from China.
China had accused the United States of spreading fear over the coronavirus outbreak by pulling nationals out and curbing travel instead of offering significant aid. The United States was the first nation to begin evacuations, issued a travel cautioning against going to China, and barred entry to foreigners who recently visited China. The country had also announced that it was closing its borders to people who have travelled or visited several European countries – including Italy. While the US took such a step, the Chinese government, on the other hand, had announced that it was sending medical teams and supplies to Italy, the country with a surge of increasing coronavirus outbreaks.
Will, the US lose its exemplar like image due to COVID-19?
For many years, the United States has exhibited leadership during times of crisis around the world. America’s impulse to counter to natural disasters and pandemic outbreaks far from its shores has served as a source of stimulus for many whose lives have been touched by the countries’ generosity and readiness to confront difficult challenges. However, with the recent outbreak, it seems like the world superpower is not doing much, except for pointing fingers at each other.
The Chinese foreign ministry affairs spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, had stated that it is precisely developed countries like the United States with strong epidemic prevention capabilities and facilities that have taken the lead in inflicting excessive restrictions contrary to the World Health Organisation’s recommendations. She added, saying countries should make logical, calm and science-based judgements.
The global spread of the novel coronavirus demands just such American leadership today. What began as a localized outbreak of a new virus in China is now a global challenge to public health.
The years before ‘Make America Great Again’, the US world view was very different. America and China were not on bad terms on all matters, big and small.
Now, with this virus spreading, and with the increasing number of deaths, there is the opportunity for these two great nations to find common cause and purpose, but their differences still seem to keep them apart.
As the leader of other nations take note; it’s the time of need and China is eager to rectify its reputation on a global level. The blame game between the US and China should no longer come before trying to contain the emergence of the situation.
The USA is now the epicentre of the COVID-19 outbreak with more than lakh infected cases; however, Italy still remains high in the death toll of more than 9,000 so far. The disease is quickly spreading throughout the country despite the measures taken, such as travel ban and social distancing. Medical teams and aid equipment are being sent from China to various countries. Will the US still have this stand-off attitude towards China, even when the infected cases are spiking?
It is time the United States of America and the People’s Republic of China to set a course not just to solve this global emergency, but also to set the conditions to prevent the next one. Before it’s too late, President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping must manifest global leadership and join together to pool their vital scientific resources, literally, for the good of all humankind.