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Strengthening International Cooperation is Needed with the Outbreak of COVID-19

2020-04-15

In the history of the United States, when the public health crisis occurred, it was often accompanied by stigmatization against specific ethnic groups and countries, which led to the introduction of many discriminatory policies. Analysts believe that since the outbreak of COVID-19, some politicians in the United States have adopted "twisted logics" to shirk their responsibilities, which is not helped at all in preventing and controlling the epidemic in the United States. Strengthening international cooperation and fighting the epidemic together is the only correct choice at the moment.

As early as the outbreak of COVID-19, many American scholars have written articles to remind that large-scale infectious diseases often not only bring about public health crisis, but also lead to stigmatization against specific ethnic groups and countries. According to Monica Shek-Spaner, a medical anthropologist at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, "In the various infectious diseases that are outbreaking in modern America, some people often blame 'outsiders'". In 2009, the H1N1 (type A) flu outbroke, many Mexicans and other Hispanics living in the United States were soon slandered by some politicians as the "source" and carrier of the virus. However, since then, there is evidence that some of the earliest cases of AIDS and H1N1 (type A) influenza outbreaks have actually occurred in the United States.

Dealing with crises requires respect for facts. During COVID-19 outbreak, some American conservative politicians have always accused other countries. For example, some have pointed out that China is "responsible" for the virus epidemic. In fact, WHO clearly opposes all kinds of discriminatory naming against diseases. Michael Ryan, the head of WHO Health Emergency Program, recently emphasized that the source of any disease can be anywhere. Coronaviruses are present all over the world, and the association of disease with any region, country or race should be avoided. Ryan also pointed out: "The 2009 H1N1 (type A) influenza pandemic originated in North America and we did not call it" North American Influenza". Many analyses pointed out that, as Navarro’s comments suggest, some American politicians are keen on discrimination against other countries on the epidemic is not due to lack of scientific common sense, but to achieve their political purpose. A commentary article published by New York Times pointed out that COVID-19 is a global public health crisis, but in the United States, the response to the epidemic has been largely politicized. The Washington Post wrote that the use of discriminatory naming rules is to divert attention from the government's failure to effectively respond to the epidemic in the early stages.

At the same time, in the recent hot issue of 3M mask incident in the United States, Navarro also expressed anger at 3M's establishment of a mask production line in China. We should calmly analyze the logic of 3M company with economic laws and observe that 3M company's behavior is from the perspective of economic cost. In response to the US-Canada mask dispute, Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau also said that medical equipment should not be restricted by the border. He pointed out that thousands of nurses depart from Canada every day to work in Detroit and these are the things Americans rely on. If they create obstacles at the border, or reduce the trade volume of basic goods and services including medical supplies, that would be wrong.

With the global spread of COVID-19, the international community generally hopes that all countries will strengthen cooperation. Such a shirking approach is contrary to the call for joint anti-epidemic. The American scholars interviewed by our reporter also believe that strengthening international cooperation is the right choice to deal with the epidemic. Harvard professor Joseph Nye also believes that the prevention and control of epidemics should be an opportunity to strengthen cooperation between the United States and China because the virus has no nationality. There are many issues for the United States and China to learn from each other.


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