Our Planet Missed The Opportunity To Unite Against The Pandemic
Above photo: Reuters/Carlos Barria.
It is time to stop irresponsible finger-pointing.
All over the world, as this essay is being written, well over 17 million COVID-19 cases have been reported, and 676,000 people died. And instead of concentrating on serious research, trying to save human lives and attempting to stop the global calamity, ‘residents’ of the White House are spending all the energy on their own political survival, as well as on the survival of the regime.
In the U.S., both the establishment and opposition are buzzing with phantasmagoric conspiracy theories. Everyone is shouting, and no one is listening.
COVID-19 has been dangerously politicized. In order to ‘save its skin,’ the White House has been relentlessly blaming China for the origin and handling of the pandemic. Various U.S. government officials have been pointing fingers, irresponsibly, at Beijing. Some have been going as far as claiming that the pandemic was manufactured in one of the laboratories in the city of Wuhan. A bit like a ‘Frankenstein theory,’ fit for a comic book or a horror movie, but not for any serious analysis.
Serious analyses are, however, often neglected by mainstream media. Although they do get picked up for those who are interested and unbiased.
The Telegraph reported on 5 July 2020:
“Senior CEBM tutor Dr. Tom Jefferson believes many viruses lie dormant throughout the globe and emerge when conditions are favourable.
Coronavirus may have lain dormant across the world and emerged when the environmental conditions were right for it to thrive rather than starting in China, an Oxford University expert believes.
Dr. Tom Jefferson, senior associate tutor at the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (CEBM), at Oxford and a visiting professor at Newcastle University, argues there is growing evidence that the virus was elsewhere before it emerged in Asia.
Last week, Spanish virologists announced that they had found traces of the disease in samples of waste water collected in March 2019, nine months before coronavirus was seen in China.
Italian scientists have also found evidence of coronavirus in sewage samples in Milan and Turin in mid-December, many weeks before the first case was detected, while experts have found evidence of traces in Brazil in November 2019.”
It appears that several countries in Europe had actually been suffering from the novel coronavirus cases long before they emerged in China. Europeans just did not know that they were dealing with ‘the new and deadly type of flu.’ Or they did not have the capacity or willingness to detect and define the new pandemic as fast as the Chinese doctors and scientists did.
On 20 June 2020, Independent addressed precisely this issue:
“The novel coronavirus – Sars-Cov-2 – may have been in Europe for longer than previously thought. Recent studies have suggested that it was circulating in Italy as early as December 2019. More surprisingly, researchers at the University of Barcelona found traces of the virus when testing untreated wastewater samples dated 12 March 2019.
The study was recently published on a preprint server, medRxiv. The paper is currently being subject to critical review by outside experts in preparation for publication in a scientific journal. Until this process of peer review has been completed, though, the evidence needs to be treated with caution.”
“So, how was the experiment conducted and what exactly did the scientists find?
One of the early findings about Sars-Cov-2 is that it is found in the faeces of infected people. As the virus makes its way through the gut – where it can cause gastrointestinal symptoms – it loses its outer protein layer, but bits of genetic material called RNA survive the journey intact and are “shed” in faeces. At this point, it is no longer infectious – as far as current evidence tells us.”
In May 2020, the BBC simply reported, without drawing any ‘political conclusions’:
“A patient treated in a hospital near Paris on 27 December for suspected pneumonia actually had the coronavirus, his doctor has said.
This means the virus may have arrived in Europe almost a month earlier than previously thought.
Dr. Yves Cohen said a swab taken at the time was recently tested, and came back positive for Covid-19.
The patient, who has since recovered, said he had no idea where he caught the virus as he had not travelled abroad.
Knowing who was the first case is key to understanding how the virus spread.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says it is possible more early cases will come to light, and spokesman Christian Lindmeier urged countries to check records for similar cases in order to gain a clearer picture of the outbreak.
France is not the only country where subsequent testing points to earlier cases. Two weeks ago, a post-mortem examination carried out in California revealed that the first coronavirus-related death in the U.S. was almost a month earlier than previously thought.”
These are only three examples, carried by three separate reports.
There is more and more evidence suggesting that China was actually not the country where the COVID-19 originated, but the country where novel coronavirus was first and decisively identified, confronted, and to a great extent, defeated. Quite amazing, considering that China, at least for some time, stood totally alone against this dangerous pandemic, which since then managed to, fundamentally, change the world!
But the more all this appears to be the case, the louder is cacophony coming from Washington; more vitriolic becomes the anti-Chinese propaganda.
It is clearly done in order to cover up the ineptness of the U.S. government’s response to the calamity. If the system in the grotesquely turbo-capitalist country like the United States collapses, just blame it hypocritically on the Communists, or go racist and start insulting Asians. Or if you run out of earthly enemies, just blame it on extra-terrestrials.
Predictably, President Trump does not enjoy much support from the ranks of the scientific community. Some even poke fun, openly, at him and his deputies. Others are trying to argue with him, presenting facts.
After Washington’s COVID-19-related anti-Chinese attacks intensified in April 2020, Professor Edward Holmes, an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and a Fellow of the Royal Society in London, decided to speak up, disputing with scientific arguments the propaganda theories:
“There is no evidence that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans, originated in a laboratory in Wuhan, China.
“Coronaviruses like SARS-CoV-2 are commonly found in wildlife species and frequently jump to new hosts. This is also the most likely explanation for the origin of SARS-CoV-2.”
But Washington is brutal and vindictive. When it is caught lying, when the simple, even primitive plans and designs get confronted, it retaliates disproportionally and swiftly. That is precisely what happened to the World Health Organization (WHO) and its Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. WHO was seen by Trump and his hawkish lieutenants as being “too close to China,” and that is arch ‘crime’ in this time and age! On top of it, Mr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was pressing for global cooperation instead of confrontation. But the United States is simply unable to cooperate anymore. It only knows how to dictate.
Rapidly and wickedly, the U.S. ejected itself from the WHO, right in the middle of the global pandemic, leaving huge unpaid bills. This, most likely, cost tens of thousands of human lives, particularly in the poorest parts of the world. Not that Washington cares!
Attacks against China by Trump, Rubio, Bannon, Pompeo, Navarro, and others in the U.S. government and establishment, are thoroughly ludicrous and get regularly strongly rebutted in the United States itself, but also its satellites.
White House accusations regularly degenerate to extremely low levels of discourse.
As mentioned above, U.S. officials, including President himself, frequently insinuate that pandemic originated, or was even manufactured, in one of Wuhan’s labs.
Such insults get confronted by counter-insults, like those shot by Peter Davidson, who recently declared that: “Covid19 originated in CIA Fort Detrick lab, brought to Wuhan to blame it on China!”
Once again, the United States refused to cooperate with the rest of the world. Instead, it is spoiling all efforts to create a united front against the pandemic, which is frightening the Planet, killing tens of thousands of human beings, and destroying the lives of the billions.
Since the beginning of this unpredictable and still largely unresearched virus, I have been monitoring, first hand, all fears and frustration of the people: in Asia, North and South Americas, as well as Europe. I have been observing how COVID-19 brought Planet to a standstill. This fear is real. The consequences of the pandemic are awful, and they include misery, unemployment, even hunger, and homelessness.
This terrible attack of new illness was an opportunity for our civilization to unite, to show that we, as human beings, are able to cooperate, fight for the survival of all, and smash this dreadful enemy. Together, all of us, side by side, regardless of race, nationality, or culture.
The opportunity was missed. And the result is not only bitterness. The result is counted in hundreds of millions of newly poor.
China actually tried to forge a global alliance against COVID-19, and so did Russia. Also, Cuba, as always. Hundreds of heavy lift aircrafts were heading from Moscow, Beijing, and Havana, to help people who were in dire need, in all corners of the world. Hands were extended.
We all know how these efforts ended: with insults, and unprecedented propaganda coming from Washington. Not one heartfelt “Thank you!”. Not one. And then, even foreign aid directed towards dozens of countries, coming from China, got literally stolen from the tarmacs, by the United States government.
The countries which were suffering the most, from embargos and sanctions and needed resources to manage the COVID-19, countries such as Iran and Venezuela, got brutalized even further, sadistically and shamelessly.
This does not look like a good world. And the ‘mightiest country on earth’ does not look like a good leader, either. In fact, it does not look like a leader at all. And with this attitude towards the Planet, it should never again be allowed to lead.
COVID-19 ruined countless lives. But at least now it is clear, who is who, what is the gangrenous essence of corporatism and imperialism.
While China, Russia, Cuba, Vietnam, Venezuela, Iran, and others are fighting for human lives, Washington is struggling to preserve the global status quo for its own unsavory purposes. It does not want to save or improve the world. It wants to control it. And it wants to own it. Nothing else. Full stop.
First published by NEO – New Eastern Outlook – a journal of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. Six of his latest books are “New Capital of Indonesia”, “China Belt and Road Initiative”, “China and Ecological Civilization” with John B. Cobb, Jr., “Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism”, a revolutionary novel “Aurora” and a bestselling work of political non-fiction: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire”. View his other books here. Watch Rwanda Gambit, his groundbreaking documentary about Rwanda and DRCongo and his film/dialogue with Noam Chomsky “On Western Terrorism”. Vltchek presently resides in East Asia and Latin America, and continues to work around the world. He can be reached through his website, his Twitter and his Patreon.