U.S. politicians responsible for spread of COVID-19 beyond borders
Residents line up for free face masks the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation staff distribute at the Mauro playground, May 5, 2020. /AP

Residents line up for free face masks the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation staff distribute at the Mauro playground, May 5, 2020. /AP

Editor's note: The following article is taken from the Chinese-language opinion column "The Real Point".

Renowned American scholar Noam Chomsky said in an interview that President Donald Trump is culpable in the deaths of Americans in the pandemic, adding that "the same is true internationally". "To try and cover up his criminal attacks against the American people, which have been going on all of this time, he's flailing about to try and find scapegoats," said the 91-year old linguist and social critic.

Chomsky's disparaging remarks about the Trump administration's pandemic performance were dead on target. After ignoring early warnings from China, the World Health Organization and U.S. medical experts, Washington chose to deflect criticism onto others once the virus was out of control. Moreover, an article in The Atlantic compared the United States' response to "a country with shoddy infrastructure and a dysfunctional government."

With over 1.4 million infections, the United States now accounts for nearly a third of the world's total. Its top medical expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said on Tuesday that the real number of COVID-19 deaths is "almost certainly" higher than the official figure due to the likelihood some went unrecorded. Its failure to domestically contain the virus from spreading has also resulted in the U.S. becoming the biggest exporter of the pathogen.

Canada's National Post quoted data from its largest provinces in April as reporting that it was American travelers, not Chinese, who carried the virus to the country. Research by Japan's National Institute of Infectious Diseases suggests that the peak of its COVID-19 outbreak started in March after being brought in from Europe and the United States. Prime Minister Scott Morrison noted in March that most infections in Australia were traced to a travel history or contact related to America.

A screenshot of The Atlantic website.

A screenshot of The Atlantic website.

The U.S. government's contempt for science and public health experts has impacted global efforts in combating the pandemic, the latest example of which can be seen in Latin America, the latest region to be caught in the eye of the COVID-19 storm. Over the past months, Washington has increased its efforts to repatriate what it sees as illegal immigrants from Mexico and Central American countries, citing virus prevention and control as the reasons.

American broadcaster CBS held Guatemala as an example, saying that 20 percent of the country's infections were imported from the United States, which made the local health system more vulnerable. "I do believe that the U.S. is exporting the virus," stated California Representative Norma Torres. Sadly, this is just another item on the list of impeding actions taken by the Trump administration.

Since the outbreak began, they have intercepted other nations' medical supplies, made it harder for Iran and Venezuela to obtain medical resources by maintaining sanctions, and attempted to monopolize vaccines developed by a German company. They have actively been a stumbling block in international counter-pandemic cooperation, posing a threat to global public health security.

With great power comes great responsibility. However, the world's only superpower has failed in its duty to contain the pandemic and has instead become the principal obstacle in global cooperation. Politicians in Washington must immediately snap out of their obsession with the pursuit of personal political gains or they will one day be judged harshly by history and the world.

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