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US And China’s Accusations of a Lack of Transparency Hinder Global Efforts against Coronavirus

The most influential world economies continue to jab at each other with accusations. This is during a time when economic news is reporting the dire states of local economies and the global economy.

U.S. And China Are Accusing Each Other Of Lack of Transparency about the Coronavirus Pandemic

The President of the United States Donald Trump, is accusing China- the epicenter of the breakout- of a lack of transparency in their official data reports about coronavirus infections and mortality rates.

In March 2020, President Trump accused China of being lax in reporting the first outbreak in Chinese central city of Wuhan, claiming the US would have been able to respond much sooner.

“It would have been much better if we had known about this a number of months earlier”. Trump said in a white house conference.

Furthermore, Trump said that Beijing’s tally for Coronavirus and death rates was “a little bit on the light side”. This was after US Intelligence reports from China said the Chinese government was underreporting the correct figures on purpose.

“The reality is that we could have been better off if China had been more forthcoming. Stated Vice President Mike Pence on CNN. “What appears evident now is that long before the world learned in December that China was dealing with this, and maybe as much as a month earlier than that, that the outbreak was real in China.”

On the other hand, Beijing retaliated by saying the US might be the original source of COVID-19. So far, instead of the countries responding to each other’s accusations, they have opted to shift the blame instead.

On March 12, China’s foreign ministry’s spokesman Zhao Lijian blamed the US military for bringing the Coronavirus to Wuhan.

“When did patient Zero begin in U.S.? How many people are infected? What are the names of the hospitals? It might be U.S. army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan. Be transparent! Make public your data. The U.S. owes us an explanation.”

Blame Games Are Interfering With Global Efforts to Fight COVID-19

The US also said that China isn’t the only country deliberately reporting false data sets. Other countries, including North Korea, Iran, Russia, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt might also be purposely misinforming the public.

The US state department’s immunologist, Deborah Birx, commented on the data from China. She said that the medical community considered the data from China as serious but less severe than expected. She added:

“Because I think we were probably missing a significant amount of the data, now that we see what happened to Italy and see what happened to Spain.”

Such false data, and back and forth blame-shifting, stands in the way of collaborative efforts for the international community to come up with a solution or vaccine for the ongoing global pandemic, Crabtree added.

“Everything is made more difficult by the fact that U.S. and China are not going to cooperate with one another.” Crabtree said.

The Blame Games Will Also Worsen the Ongoing US and China Trade Wars

The Latest data from Johns Hopkins University show that China has so far recorded 83,849 Coronavirus cases, compared to the currently world-leading 787,960 cases in the US.

Despite the current accusations of a lack of transparency, both countries have cooperated well in past epidemics by sharing information.

Apart from setting back global efforts for a solution against COVID-19, the growing rift will further strain the already hostile trade relations which went on for the better part of 2019.

In January, the U.S. and China reached their first step in achieving an agreement. They signed the phase one trade deal with talks of a second deal. This was shortly after the WHO declared the Coronavirus Outbreak in China.

However, with the current developments, James Crabtree said phase two is far from being achieved.

“There probably will be some delays in the first phase agreement. It could be years away… They would have to start effectively from scratch.”

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