US must provide accurate COVID-19 information

Zhou Qing

Lacking transparency and an efficient response to the spread of novel coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19), the US government has blinded global markets. Amid an epidemic that is sprawling worldwide, certainty is what the world needs most.
Compared with countries like China, Japan and South Korea, which are promptly informing international society of their outbreak situations, information about COVID-19 in the US has been practically nonexistent.
The US’ slow bureaucratic processes and its poor coordination have delayed effective COVID-19 testing. A well-circulated news report revealed that a flawed COVID-19 test designed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has prevented local officials from taking a crucial first step in coping with a possible outbreak.
A gene sequencing analysis found that the genomes of two coronavirus infections in Washington State show the virus could have been spreading in the US for almost six weeks, according to the New York Times.
There have been reports on the CDC’s plan to test individuals with influenza-like illnesses for COVID-19. Such reports have led some to question if the virus has already been smoldering in the US under the name of influenza, given that influenza has already resulted in the deaths of many Americans this winter. As a country engaged in very close economic ties with the US, China deserves to know the real situation.
We urge the US government to provide clear information on the exact numbers of confirmed and suspected cases in the US, and to clarify the connection between this winter’s influenza and COVID-19.
Without accurate data on the number of confirmed and suspected COVID-19 cases in the US, global markets lack the information needed to make appropriate decisions. They have no choice but to consider the worst-case scenario and crash. To avoid such an outcome, the US must act quickly.
For starters, the US should actively work with the World Health Organization to develop effective testing methods that local governments can put into use as soon as possible. Any delay in producing a working test will eventually take its toll on the American people.
The Trump administration should not continue to downplay the current COVID-19 outbreak in the US. Many politicians have agreed that US President Donald Trump is not “ready” for COVID-19. US Senator Elizabeth Warren has gone so far as to accuse the Trump administration of “bungling” its response to the coronavirus. A COVID-19 outbreak in the US could make Trump’s 2020 re-election path bumpier, but it is not a time to shirk responsibility. We hope the US can provide the world with more certainty instead of escalating an already growing crisis. -The Daily Mail-Global Times news exchange item