Washington is ‘disruptor-in-chief’ in global pandemic fight

(Xinhua) – The notion of “American exceptionalism” argues that the United States has a special role in the world and serves as a role model for others to follow.

That myth has fallen prey to the rampaging coronavirus pandemic, or more specifically, to Washington’s disruption to the global fight against the deadly pathogen.

As the world’s sole superpower, the United States has an unshirkable responsibility to pioneer or support a global combat against humanity’s common enemy, or at least set a fine example to contain the outbreak at home.

However, Washington’s performance has made it a disruptor-in-chief in this ongoing vital struggle, and let the world down deeply.

Many politicians in Washington love to boast of America’s leading role in the world. The country is truly leading today, but in a tragic way no one is willing to see.

Being the world’s epicentre in the Covid-19 pandemic, the country now has about one third of the world’s caseload and death toll respectively, more than any other places on the surface of the Earth.

Clearly, despite all the warnings flashed by China or the World Health Organization (WHO), or even its own intelligence communities, this U.S. administration has simply dropped the ball because of either self-conceited arrogance or gross negligence, or both.

In a recently published Op-ed, The Associated Press said the United States responded the pandemic with a system with “cascading failures and incompetencies,” and grumbled that “a nation with unmatched power, brazen ambition and aspirations through the arc of history to be humanity’s ‘shining city upon a hill’ cannot come up with enough simple cotton swabs.”

It seems that some Washington politicians, such as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and White House trade advisor Peter Navarro, have no interest in reflecting on what is going wrong in their own country.

Facing their coronavirus debacle, they are interested in two things: covering it up and blaming others.

When the Pompeos and the Navarros attack China over transparency, they should know that they are the ones who tried to play down the dire threat of the disease despite having been repeatedly warned, refused to disclose how the administration was distributing medical supplies, and blocked Dr. Anthony Fauci, an infectious disease expert and key figure on the White House coronavirus task force, from testifying before Congress.

Trying to sell their theory on the virus’s origin, they just couldn’t be more desperate to smear China.

During this past weekend, Pompeo said that there is “enormous evidence” that coronavirus outbreak originated in a laboratory in Wuhan, China, but failed to provide any.

Pompeo’s bluffing can easily remind people of the theatric UN presentation back in 2003 delivered by Colin Powell, then U.S. secretary of state, who made the case for the bloody and destructive Iraqi war with outright lies.

Instead of contributing to the global drive to bear down the pandemic, the incumbent U.S. government has even launched an offensive to disrupt it.

Last month, Washington decided to halt funding for the WHO while accusing it of “severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus.

That is so irresponsible a decision that could not come at a worse time when the world needs more than ever this global health body to play its backbone role to coordinate an effective global response among governments in the face of the still-raging pandemic.

Following the World War II, the United States joined countries around the world to create the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, all of which are the pillars of the current world order that is underpinned by the spirit of multilateralism.

That was a time when the United States had won some respect in the world although Washington and Moscow quickly went head-to-head in the Cold War.

The coronavirus pandemic is “shaking bedrock assumptions” about “American exceptionalism,” Katrin Bennhold, The New York Times’s Berlin bureau chief, wrote in a recently published opinion piece.

Washington’s performance during the ongoing pandemic, along with this administration’s ballooning hostility towards free trade, economic globalization and the post-war world order the United States helped shape, has degraded itself to a short-sighted and strong-arm bully who is willing to do anything for short-term self-interests.

The human race today faces a myriad of daunting challenges, like climate change and fatal infectious diseases such as COVID-19.

To weather those challenges demands the input from everyone. If those U.S. decision-makers want their country to be exceptional, they need to be responsible and their actions should be inspirational.

Otherwise,”American exceptionalism” would only become a laughing stock, for which the international community would feel an intense loathing.