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Trump’s Losing Blame Game

As US President Donald Trump desperately seeks to shift blame for his own inept leadership, China is laying the groundwork for global leadership in the post-COVID-19 era. Thanks to Trump, the US will almost certainly lose the great-power competition – and countless lives.

WASHINGTON, DC – A pandemic is enveloping the world, endangering the lives and livelihoods of millions of people, and US President Donald Trump is thinking about how to get the upper hand vis-à-vis China. But his obsession with winning this great-power competition – exemplified by his administration’s petty insistence on calling COVID-19 the “Chinese virus” or the “Wuhan virus” – is making victory less likely every day.

Nobody doubts that the COVID-19 coronavirus first appeared in China. Nor does anyone deny that Chinese bureaucrats were wrong to suppress information about it early on, rather than taking immediate action to contain it. But, for most of the world, what matters is not so much where the pandemic started, but how it will end. And, as it stands, China is doing a lot more to help end the outbreak than the United States is.

Despite their early missteps, it did not take long for China’s leaders to recognize their initial mistake and take decisive action. The government sealed off affected areas, locked down a huge swath of the population, built designated COVID-19 hospitals, and ramped up production of necessary equipment, including test kits, masks, and ventilators.

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