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  • Writer's pictureXiaodong Fang

Democrats linked coronavirus to their criticisms over Trump, but more should be done over China

Democratic presidential candidates criticized President Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus outbreak on Tuesday (Feb 25, 2020)'s presidential debate in South Carolina. The mentioning of the coronavirus raised the public attention and triggered a response from the President tweeting on the issue.

However, what's missing in the debate is a discussion of the Chinese government, whose incompetent handling of the disease has endangered the world. For example, in a reference to Trump proclaiming himself a "very stable genius," Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont ribbed the president over his prediction that the virus was going away.

Even if President Trump made an over-optimist prediction about the disease control, the prediction was based on the claim of Chinese President Xi Jinping that "he can be trusted to lead them out of the epidemic." So, Xi is the originator of the false claim and should be blamed in the first place.

Criticisms also come from Former Mayor Mike Bloomberg of New York City and former Vice President Joe Biden in the debate. Bloomberg hit Trump for firing key government officials normally in charge of epidemics, and Biden touted the Obama administration's actions on the Ebola outbreak. However, compared to the actions and responses of the Trump administration in dealing with the coronavirus, what the Chinese government has done deserves more criticisms.

The Chinese government censored information about coronavirus outbreaks, putting the rest of the world at greater risk of its spread; it locked down the whole city of Wuhan and many other areas of China, violating human rights of the people under quarantine; its state media platforms exposed government-sanctioned disinformation, distributing falsified rumors about the virus and fears of retaliatory efforts for failing to report symptoms; it cracked down on speech freedom and tighten control over people in a desperate move to bolster the regime, detaining dissidents who revealed the truth of the disease and who criticized the government, and etc.

I urge the democratic presidential candidates to shift their criticisms regarding the coronavirus from the Trump adminstration to the Chinese government. The disease is horrible, so is the Chinese government who deprives the Chinese people of freedom, spreads disinformation and authoritarianism, and threatens the free world.


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