09:57 GMT29 September 2020
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    If the US public really knew the extent to which its government has bungled its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, its political legitimacy would suffer a “devastating blow,” an expert told Sputnik on Wednesday. That is one reason why China, which responded correctly, is increasingly demonized by Washington.

    John Ross, a Senior Fellow for the Chongyang Institute at the Renmin University of China and an award-winning columnist, told Radio Sputnik’s By Any Means Necessary that the US government’s failure to put people before profits - and the corresponding mass death and economic catastrophe that has followed - stands in stark contrast to China’s response, which took just six weeks to tame the deadly virus.

    “Essentially China is functioning perfectly normally from the health point of view … they had a couple of spasmastic outbreaks which are tiny by US standards,” Ross told hosts Sean Blackmon and Jacquie Luqman.

    “In the US, of course you have this terrible situation: there are going to be 200,000 deaths, whereas in China there are less than 5,000 deaths in total,” he added.

    When the COVID-19 outbreak began in China in early January, the country quickly implemented lockdown measures, exhibiting its preparedness in responding to pandemics, he said. However, some US states were slow to implement lockdown measures while widespread testing in the US was delayed in March after the first round of test kits were made in a contaminated Atlanta lab.

    “China took its lockdown measures in Wuhan and Hubei [Province] when it was detected there was a new type of coronavirus on January 23. It then took 13 days for the number of cases in the country to reach a peak and it took 43 days, that is from January 23, [to reach] the first day in which the number of cases was zero. That means China succeeded in smashing the virus to the ground in six weeks,” Ross explained.

    US President Donald Trump, on the other hand, has repeatedly focused on the economy and job numbers. During a July press conference, Trump highlighted the “roaring economy,” claiming that it is “coming back extremely strong.”

    “We have some areas where we're putting out the flames or the fires and that's working out well,” he added.

    In his upcoming book “Rage,” journalist Bob Woodward revealed that Trump knowingly downplayed the danger posed by COVID-19 in the early days of the outbreak. On February 7, in one of Trump’s 18 interviews with Woodward that form the core of the journalist’s new book, Trump called COVID-19 “deadly stuff.”

    “Trump was very ecstatic about the performance of the stock exchange because a number of billionaires became extremely rich out of what has happened in the US … the aim of what has been done in the US is to terrorize the population,” Ross explained.

    “You’re going to have a lot of people who are going to be laid off, you’re going to have a lot of people who are going to be fired and rehired at worse contracts and it's going to increase profit. This is a tremendous attack on American people. The difference is, in China, the government went out of its way to safeguard the people,” Ross noted.

    “The American ruling establishment cannot allow the truth about what really happened in the coronavirus to be understood by the American people. If it was known that hundreds of thousands of Americans - that is, if the truth was known, that hundreds of thousands of Americans have died needlessly, that 20 million Americans have loss their jobs needlessly due to the incompetence of the US government or its capitalist system, this would be a devastating blow within the US,” Ross added.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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