Chinese regime’s responsibility for coronavirus pandemic

Originally posted on Newsmax

Watching CNN and MSNBC these days is painful with their unending commentaries blaming President Trump for the spread of coronavirus in the United States. I believe history will show that all Western countries made mistakes in the way they initially reacted to this pandemic.

It is clear there were systemic problems in all Western health systems to deal with this kind of health threat. Such problems in the United States at the federal, state and local levels predate President Trump — his administration did not cause them.

At the same time, the mainstream media and Democratic politicians do not want to discuss the cause of this global pandemic: China’s communist regime.

The president’s critics refuse to give him credit for his decisive action that may greatly reduce the severity of coronavirus in this country. His decision to suspend flights from China into the United States made a huge difference in keeping us safe as did his decision to block non-U.S. citizens from Europe flying to the U.S. Europe’s failure to bar flights from China probably led to the crippling surge in coronavirus cases in Italy and its rapid spread across Europe. Germany only ended flights from Iran this week.

The president’s Coronavirus Task Force led by Vice President Mike Pence has received high marks for its professionalism and for keeping Americans informed with daily press conferences with leading U.S. government health officials, especially Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

It’s worth noting that the mainstream media and many of the president’s political rivals condemned his January 31 suspension of flights from China, including former Vice President Joe Biden, who called this decision xenophobic. With this kind of irrational, politically correct thinking, it is frightening to think how bad this crisis would be if Joe Biden was president right now.

Biden and other American liberals refuse to mention that China’s communist government is singularly responsible for the coronavirus pandemic. Chinese officials punished and silenced doctors who identified the virus in December and tried to warn about the seriousness of the disease.

Beijing played down the threat from the virus, allowed large public gatherings, and failed to restrict travel from Wuhan Province until January 23. Chinese officials lied to the international community about the seriousness of the virus in Wuhan for weeks and refused to cooperate with international health officials. There also are reports that China pressured the World Health Organization to play down the seriousness of the virus in January.

Incredibly, China’s corrupt communist regime is now trying to blame the United States for the coronavirus outbreak by claiming that the U.S. Army introduced it into Wuhan. It also has threatened to withhold pharmaceuticals from the United States and has expelled U.S. journalists because it is offended that U.S. officials and journalists are holding China’s leaders responsible for this pandemic.

Beijing also has demanded a Danish newspaper apologize for the gallows-humor editorial cartoon depicting Beijing’s responsibility for the coronavirus pandemic.

It may be too much to expect the president’s Trump Derangement Syndrome-afflicted political opponents to give him credit for his administration’s leadership in handling the unprecedented coronavirus crisis. But it would be refreshing if Trump’s political foes would acknowledge Beijing’s responsibility for the coronavirus pandemic and stop mouthing Chinese propaganda shifting the blame and asserting that China somehow “saved” the world from the disease.

We need a united effort in this county not just to hold Beijing accountable, but to make systemic changes in our relationship with China, including ending our dependency on China for crucial imports, especially pharmaceuticals.

I hope this happens. But this too may be too much to expect from President Trump’s political opponents, many of whom are putting their obsession with defeating Mr. Trump in the 2020 election ahead of the national interest.

About Fred Fleitz

Fred Fleitz, president of the Center for Security Policy, served in 2018 as deputy assistant to the president and to the chief of staff of the National Security Council. He previously held national-security jobs with the CIA, the DIA, the Department of State, and the House Intelligence Committee staff. Twitter @fredfleitz.