Trump wants to make China the scapegoat of his historic failure facing coronavirus

It is evident that the Trump administration decided to blame the Asian power in order to hide its historic failure facing the pandemic and economic meltdown

Trump wants to make China the scapegoat of his historic failure facing coronavirus
U.S. President Donald Trump gestures as he speaks during the daily briefing on the novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, at the White House - Photo: Mandel NGAN/AFP
English 08/05/2020 16:49 Gabriel Moyssen Mexico City Actualizada 17:48

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A war of accusations regarding the origin of the new coronavirus strain has erupted between the United States and China, yet it is evident that the Trump administration decided to blame the Asian power in order to hide its historic failure facing the pandemic and economic meltdown, as well as to prepare for an increased strategic rivalry and electoral campaign.

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Doubling down in his policy of blaming Beijing, already announced in April with his references to the “Chinese virus,” U.S. President Donald Trump chose the Lincoln Memorial in Washington as the scenario for his tirade against China on Sunday during a television interview. “They allowed this to go into our country, they allowed it to go into other countries,” he claimed. “They said, ‘hey look, this is going to have a huge impact on China, and we might as well let the rest of the world’” become infected, affirmed Trump.

On Monday, he continued his verbal offensive declaring to The New York Post that “bad things happened, let’s face it. They didn’t do it on purpose. But it got out.”

Hours before, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo alleged that “China has a history of infecting the world, and they have a history of running sub-standard laboratories. These are not the first times that we have had the world exposed to viruses as a result of failures in a Chinese lab.”

It is worth remembering that during a video meeting in March, the foreign ministers from the G-7 Group rejected Pompeo’s pressure to refer to the illness as the “Wuhan virus” in its joint statement.

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As expected, Beijing’s reaction has been strong, remarking that Washington needs to answer where the virus originated in the U.S., and whether it failed to notice virus transmission at an early stage. Cui Tiankai, Chinese Ambassador to the U.S., stressed in an Op-Ed published in The Washington Post that “behind the mind-set of ‘always blame China’ is a kind of dirty politics, championed by a few people who shift the spotlight for political gain.”

Cui added that “the U.S. would not emerge as a winner from this scenario,” noting that “when China took the decisive step to lockdown Wuhan, critics dismissed the move as a medieval practice, that violated human rights, when China provided updates about the outbreak, they labeled objective facts as disinformation and propaganda.”

However, it has been U.S. scientists and experts who have denied the media campaign launched by the White House, supported by allies such as the United Kingdom and Australia.

Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, who has been blocked by Trump from testifying to Congress, told National Geographic that “if you look at the evolution of the virus in bats and what’s out there now, is very, very strongly leaning toward this could not have been artificially or deliberately manipulated.”

“Everything about the stepwise evolution over time strongly indicates that evolved in nature and then jumped species,” highlighted Fauci in his opinion shared by the World Health Organization, accused by Trump of being “China-centric” to suspend the U.S. contributions.

Excluded from meetings

For his part, Rick Bright, who served as a program leader within the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, warned in late January that the U.S. had a critical shortage of surgical masks and that it needed to prioritize the creation of a vaccine, only to be excluded from meetings on coronavirus.

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Bright claims he was ultimately fired for speaking out against the administration’s attempts to push an unproven COVID-19 therapy drug (hydroxychloroquine) by the same officials who, as we will see later, have played an obscure role in the area of health and biological warfare in the last years.

In an episode reminiscent of the lies and fabrications on Iraq’sweapons of mass destruction” disseminated in order to justify invading the Arab country in 2003, a “scientific dossier” compiled by the “five eyes” intelligence alliance (the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand) has been leaked, pointing out to Chinese suppression and destruction of evidence,” regarding the origin of coronavirus.

Nevertheless, espionage sources have denounced the pressure to back these baseless claims; in an official statement, the Office of the Director of U.S. National Intelligence said that “the intelligence community also concurs with the wide scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus was not man made or genetically modified.”

While Trump announced his government is preparing “a very strong report” on China, one wonders if his own country does not need to know first why the U.S. is ravaged by coronavirus, when its military intelligence warned in November—a month before Chinese doctors detected an unknown virus—that the Wuhan epidemic could be a cataclysmic event” for both nations.

Furthermore, contradicting Pompeo’s demagoguery about “sub-standard laboratories,” U.S. key bio warfare facilities have a history of lax security controls and disorganization related to the still unclear 2001 anthrax attacks that killed five Americans and sickened 17 in the wake of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.

In July 2019, the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases in Fort Detrick, Maryland, was closed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention after it was found that workers “did not maintain an accurate or current inventory” for toxins, and “failed to safeguard against unauthorized access to select agents.”

Why is Fort Detrick so important in this context? Because it was a key part of the June 2001Dark Winter” exercise that eerily predicted not only the anthrax attacks, yet also the initial government response to those events, that would later re-emerge in last October simulationEvent 201,” which predicted a global pandemic caused by a novel coronavirus in the eve of the Wuhan outbreak.

What is more, as The Last American Vagabond reported, the U.S. would lead its own series of pandemic simulations, called “Crimson Contagion” from January to August 2019, testing the capacity of the federal government and 12 states to respond to an influenza pandemic originating in China.

Leaders of both “Event 201” and “Crimson Contagion” not only have deep and longstanding ties to U.S. intelligence and the Department of Defense, they were all previously involved in “Dark Winter,” noted the report.

Some of the same individuals, it underscored, would also play a role in the FBI’s “sabotaged” investigation into the anthrax attacks and are now handling major aspects of the U.S. response to the coronavirus.

Robert Kadlec, for example, “was recently put in charge of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) entire COVID-19 response efforts, despite the fact that he was directly responsible for actions needlessly infected Americans with COVID-19.”

According to Bright, Kadlec, the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the HHS, “declined to coordinate senior level meetings in mid January as the virus was spreading across China, suggesting that he was ‘not sure if that is a time of sensitive urgency.’”

Bright added that HHS Secretary Alex Azar “was similarly slow to act, convinced that the U.S. could keep the virus from spreading domestically.”

As Kadlec, Azar is a veteran from the FBI’s anthrax investigation and in spite of its lack of “consistency, adequate standards and precision,” found by the General Accounting Office, he stated last year that he had been “personally involved in much of managing the response [to the anthrax attacks]” as then-General Counsel to HHS.”

Given this background and the risk of mounting deaths due to the White House and the corporate sector insistence to reopen the U.S. economy—a measure that might cause 350,000 additional coronavirus deaths by the end of June, according to the University of Pennsylvania—it is no surprise that Trump is attacking China.

On Wednesday, a new Economist/YouGov tracking poll highlighted that former Vice President Joe Biden has a 4-point lead over Trump ahead of the November general election.

With just under six months to go before the process, Biden, the Democratic party’s presumptive nominee, is polling ahead of Trump in crucial swing states including Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, three of the states that gave the casino tycoon the victory four years ago.

As for China, the growing trade disputes registered between both countries since Trump’s election confirm that the trend will continue beyond who is the next occupant of the White House.

Adding to the tensions around the South China Sea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, an internal report presented to Chinese President Xi Jinping concludes that global anti-China sentiment is at a level not seen since the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown, and recommends preparing for a worst-case scenario of armed conflict with Washington.

One source with knowledge of the report created by the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations—which is affiliated with the Ministry of State Security—told Reuters that it was regarded by some in the Chinese intelligence community as their version of the “Novikov Telegram,” a 1946 dispatch by the Soviet Ambassador to Washington, Nikolai Novikov, that warned about the dangers of U.S. expansionism in the wake of World War Two.

Editing by Sofía Danis
More by Gabriel Moyssen