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People's Daily Online

U.S. is to blame for global pneumonia outbreak

People's Daily Online

(People's Daily Online) 11:06, May 18, 2020

With no evidence, some American politicians continue to concoct and fuel conspiracy theories of COVID-19. Claiming that the novel coronavirus was made by and originated in China, they have accused China of covering up the pandemic, held China accountable for the global outbreak and incited other countries to demand compensation from China.

According to some U.S. officials, they look to claim compensation from China because the latter failed to prevent the spread of the epidemic and caused the loss of life and property in other countries.

As research suggests that none of the imported cases in Russia came from China, the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Japan announced that, while COVID-19 has spread rapidly in Japan since March, it also wasn't brought from China.

Data from Canada's largest provinces show that the country's early COVID-19 cases were introduced by American tourists. The travelers that carried the virus to New York in February mainly came from Europe, instead of Asia, as the New York Times quoted from American experts.

Clearly, as China has made great efforts to combat the pandemic, the groundless accusations of some U.S. politicians reaching for someone else to blame are nowhere near the facts.

The three major non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) taken by China, i.e. intercity travel restrictions, early testing and monitoring of possible patients, and actively practicing social distancing and personal preventive actions, proved very effective, according to a report published by the authoritative science journal Nature on May 4.

Without the strong combination of NPIs, the number of COVID-19 cases in China could have increased 67 fold, said the report composed by research teams from several countries such as China, Britain and America.

It is likely the incompetence of some American politicians has caused more damage to other countries, especially those in Latin America.

U.S President Donald Trump has intensified the efforts to repatriate illegal immigrants from Mexico and Central American countries for the sake of epidemic prevention and control–so he said.

However, many illegal immigrants either weren't given the nucleic acid test or hadn't been kept in quarantine for enough time before being sent back, posing great risks to their home countries.

From March 15 to April 24, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) sent 21 flights of immigrants back to Guatemala, 18 to Honduras and 12 to El Salvador.

By May 14, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras–major source countries of the illegal immigrants–had reported a total of over 45,000 confirmed pneumonia cases.

An average 50 to 75 percent of migrants deported by the U.S. confirmed positive with COVID-19, according to Guatemala's Health Minister Hugo Monroy, with data showing that the repatriates infected account for about 19 percent of the total cases in the country.

Most of the immigrants from Central America were children, as pointed out by an article of The Guardian on May 13. The American law specifies that the migrant children are allowed to live with their relatives before their cases are submitted to the immigration courts. Trump, however, has issued an emergency statement to expel them on the excuse of the pandemic, with 600 underage youths being deported in April.

On April 8, 60 organizations in the U.S. released a joint statement denouncing the Trump Administration's total ban on asylum seekers and its continuation of deportations during the global pandemic.

The U.S., which currently has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the world, is putting the globe at risk by continuing to deport migrants during this pandemic, the statement said.

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