Why the West is overreacting to coronavirus
By Md Enamul Hassan
There is a saying that faults are thick where love is thin. This proverb holds fully true when it comes to the treatment by the West, especially the US, of China. The US government and US media seem to lie in wait for an opportunity to tarnish the image of China. The US deals with China affairs as if the largest economy of the world is suffering from some sort of pending-replacement anxiety.
No matter what happens in China, the West leaves no stone unturned to mislead the world as it spreads negative, twisted falsehoods. The West has already proven its vindictive and anxious mentality with a large-scale propaganda war against China. Western media constantly wages smear campaigns against the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Xinjiang and Tibet, two of China’s autonomous regions.
From the very inception of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pneumonia (NCP) in Wuhan, Central China’s Hubei Province, the West – the so-called saviors of humanity and guardians of human rights – has shown its ugliest face to the world. They have acted out of their old habits as they demean China and its people. But China has taken swift, effective and successful measures to curb the outbreak of NCP. The Chinese government has spared no efforts in this regard, including quarantining cities and constructing a 1,000-bed hospital in just 10 days.
China has stopped at nothing in its attempt to prevent the further spreading of the virus and safeguard the world from the contagion. China’s comprehensive and rigorous prevention and control measures have helped the world make necessary preparations to prevent and control the spread of the epidemic.
People around the world have sent messages of encouragement to the Chinese people in support of their fight against NCP. The leaders of different countries and international organizations have also expressed condolences, sympathy, and solidarity to the Chinese leadership and people in their unprecedented battle against the epidemic.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said China deserves the international community’s gratitude and respect for having taken very serious measures to contain the NCP, which have prevented widespread export of cases overseas. The speed that China detected the outbreak, isolated the virus, sequenced the genome and shared it with WHO and the world are very impressive, so is China’s commitment to transparency and support of other countries and regions.
In many ways, China is setting a new standard for outbreak response. China’s efforts to combat the disease deserve respect and appreciation, and are worth learning. These efforts not only reflect China’s high sense of responsibility for the lives and health of its own people, but also its strong support for global disease prevention and control. The WHO also believes that China will effectively contain and eventually defeat the epidemic.
But the West and its media remain unhappy with China’s measures to fight the epidemic. They are fishing in troubled waters and overreacting to NCP. The US has raised its China travel advisory to the highest level and temporarily banned the entry of all foreigners who traveled to China in the past 14 days starting from February 2. Several other Western countries have followed the suit.
The Western media have been running news of the epidemic as if the Chinese and China-made products are themselves the virus. Some of them are trying to establish that the coronavirus is made in China. The West is doing its utmost to create panic in China and to demonize Chinese people. They would like to hamper trade and business in China, thereby isolating the second-largest economy from the rest of the world.
Though the West has been overreacting to the coronavirus outbreak, they have remained silent about just how deadly common influenza is in the US. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, leading national public health institute of the US, estimates that so far there have been at least 22 million flu illnesses, 210,000 hospitalizations and 12,000 deaths from flu during the 2019-20 season.
The West hasn’t been so clamorous about the outbreaks of Ebola and Swine flu viruses, even though the rate of infections and deaths of those viruses were far more than that of the novel coronavirus. Such a vivid double standard treatment by the West proves that they have been suffering from the pending replacement anxiety brought on by China’s rise.
The author is a former diplomatic correspondent of the Daily Sun, an English-language daily newspaper of Bangladesh. firstname.lastname@example.org