Friday, April 3, 2020

Donald Trump flipflops through the pandemic

From AsiaTimes.

The latest news on President Donald Trump, America’s flipflop-in-chief, is that he had a good conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping. They agreed to battle Covid-19 together and Trump swore off referring to the “Chinese virus” from then on.
Of course, Trump has had a history of alternately praising and blasting China for the way it has dealt with the virus. Thus it remains to be seen as to how long his flip will last before he flops again.
Trump’s liar-in-chief and top diplomat, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, has not yet pulled up his reins but continues to attack China and insist that Beijing has covered up the reality of the coronavirus crisis. He has singlehandedly blocked any attempt at forming international solidarity to fight the contagion by insisting on naming the “Wuhan virus” as the cause of the pandemic. 
Pompeo has also been the point man for the Trump administration on driving the assertion that the US has been victimized by China’s coverup of the outbreak. Whether China actually covered up anything has become an increasingly harsh bone of contention between China and the US.
As I reported last weekNature published a timeline of events related to the outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan and left no gaps that could have been the source of a communication blackout. There was perhaps a week to 10 days in early December when local officials wrestled to understand the sort of contagion they were facing and did not immediately file a report to Beijing.

No room for coverup

Had health officials in Wuhan known then what they learned later, the short interval of silence could have made a difference, but that pales in comparison with the months that followed. The entire world came to know about the looming pandemic, yet the Trump team sat on their hands and just worked on an orchestrated blame game.
This week, Asia-Review posted an even more detailed timeline. It said that on December 27, 2019, Dr Zhang Jixian, an ICU (intensive-care unit) doctor at Hubei Hospital of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine, filed a report to the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission describing patients suffering from pneumonia of an unknown cause.
Three more patients entered the hospital the next day showing similar symptoms, and that set in motion the events reported in Nature and Asia-Review. Asia Review concluded: “China’s response to the outbreak of Covid-19 has been exceedingly transparent, swift, effective and life-saving. 
“However, the narrative has been hijacked by a few Western media outlets to propagate a coverup using nitpicked events that were twisted to fit their narrative.”
China set about doing the genetic sequencing of the novel coronavirus on January 9 and shared its finding of the genetic sequence with an international database on January 11. Hardly the action of a coverup.

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