Who is to be blamed for this global threat? Thousands of lives and millions of jobs are at stake as the pandemic raging outside China. Is there any one or an organisation to be blamed for this man-made disaster? Trump puts onus on WHO, while others blaming Chinese Communist Party for its failure to inform the world on time. A review when the world marks 100 days since WHO was notified of first coronavirus cases…writes KALIPH ANAZ
Today marks 100 days since the World Health Organisation, WHO, was notified of the first cases of “pneumonia with unknown cause” in China. Despite Chinese protest, President Donald Trump is still calling the outbreak as a disaster caused by “Chinese virus.” Some right wing media in the US are referring it as CCP Virus to link the epidemic with Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
There are lessons to be learned from this man-made disaster. Man –made there was ample opportunities to contain it in the initial stages. There was a cover up to save China’s image and its outdated social systems. The crisis was caused by grass-root level public servants with the support of their political masters. It became a wild fire because an incompetent, and corrupt political system tried to suppress it. Chinese President Xi Jinping and his incompetent Communist apparatchiks are responsible for this disaster. Wuhan may be free of any deaths, but the things are not rosy behind the iron curtains. How can you trust the figures supplied by an autocratic government? Is there any way to cross-check the figures?
We all know that Mr Xi did not create the novel coronavirus. But the Chines government’s missteps are directly responsible for its global transmission and uncontrolled spread, with all its terrible consequences to populations and economies around the world.
According to a report in Fox News, the communist superpower can be held legally accountable for the outbreak.
“An argument could be made that just like support for terrorism, which is legally actionable, a government that engages in such reckless disregard and negligence and covers up an epidemic which has the potential to spread worldwide could be held legally liable,” Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, an Israel-based attorney with an specialization in suing terrorist regimes and state sponsors who orchestrate human rights abuses on behalf of victims was quoted as saying in the report.
“Cover-ups and deliberate acts to conceal a deadly medical crisis are not [among] the protected acts of a sovereign state or of responsible leaders,” the expert added.
“China is not to blame for creating the virus but for not sounding the international alarm and trying to conceal it from the world,” she said.
A latest study by the University of South Hampton in the UK said China could have prevented 95 per cent of coronavirus infections if its measures to contain the outbreak had begun three weeks earlier.
“Coronavirus cases could have been reduced by 66 per cent if the measures were taken a week earlier, or by 86 per cent if action began two weeks earlier. If action was taken three weeks later, then the situation could have worsened 18-fold,” said the study.
According to a timeline by Axios, it was December 10 when China reported first patient that started showing COVID-19 like symptoms.
The governments can sue China before international tribunals for violating its obligation to report the coronavirus outbreak early.
China has hit out at Trump, who had called coronavirus a “Chinese” disease.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang urged “the US to correct its mistake and stop its groundless accusations against China”.
State news agency Xinhua termed Trump’s language was “racist and xenophobic”.
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced the expulsion of American journalists working for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post as a measure taken by Beijing “in the spirit of reciprocity.”
On March 2, Washington announced that state-controlled Chinese media outlets such as Xinhua, CGTN, China Daily and China Radio International could only employ a restricted number of Chinese nationals for these organisations on US territory.
President Trump has also accused China of spreading false information about the US.
“I didn’t appreciate the fact that China was saying that our military gave it to them. Our military did not give it to anybody.”
“China was putting out information, which was false,” he said.
After the president calling COVID-19 a “Chinese virus” and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blaming China, Russia and Iran for spreading disinformation about new coronavirus, questions are now being raised over whether Beijing can be held legally accountable for covering up initial outbreak and clamping down on real information from being shared.
During a White House briefing, Pompeo said the false information is coming from “places like China and Russia and Iran, where there are coordinated efforts to disparage what America is doing and our activity to do all the things President Trump has set in motion here”.
Trump earlier said that it’s unfortunate that the new coronavirus got out of control.
“It came from China, it got out of control. Some people are upset. I know President Xi. He loves China. He respects the United States and I have to say I respect China greatly and I respect President XI,” he said.