LOS ANGELES: Over 90 bipartisan, former high-ranking government officials and experts from the United States released a joint statement Friday urging cooperation with China to combat COVID-19.
“No effort against the coronavirus — whether to save American lives at home or combat the disease abroad — will be successful without some degree of cooperation between the United States and China,” the statement said.
The statement, titled “Saving Lives in America, China, and Around the World,” was released by Asia Society’s Center on U.S.-China Relations and the 21st Century China Center at the School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS) of the University of California San Diego.
“China’s factories can make the protective gear and medicines needed to fight the virus; its medical personnel can share their valuable clinical experience in treating it; and its scientists can work with ours to develop the vaccine urgently needed to vanquish it,” wrote the statement, which was supported by 93 former officials and experts.
Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former National Security Advisor Susan Rice, and Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University’s distinguished service professor, emeritus and former dean of Kennedy School of Government, are among the signatories. Moreover, they suggested the two countries work with others to share relevant scientific data, compare best medical practices, align efforts to step up production and distribution of medical supplies, and coordinate funds and clinical trials for vaccine and treatment research, testing, production, and distribution. However, the statement repeated unfounded allegations by some U.S. politicians who accused China of mishandling the health crisis, despite the fact that China’s quick and decisive response to stem the virus’ spread bought the world time and drew praise from the international community.
Susan Shirk, chair of the 21st Century China Center and professor emeritus at the GPS of the UC San Diego, said this global health challenge required global solutions, which must involve coordination between the world’s two largest economies. “We are going to need a massive international effort on multiple fronts to help developing countries deal with the epidemic, develop a vaccine, and then vaccinate billions of people. Other nations will be hesitant to act unless they are convinced the United States and China are on the same page,” she said in a statement posted on the university’s website.