China can’t be ‘scapegoated’ if it’s actually guilty


The blame-Trump-for-everything crowd is accusing Republicans of pointing the finger at China for the coronavirus pandemic to divert attention away from the Trump administration’s response. Rubbish.

Case in point: The front-page headline in Sunday’s New York Times read: “G.O.P. Aiming To Make China The Scapegoat.” Scapegoat? Sorry, it was the Chinese Communist regime, not the Trump administration, that unleashed this virus on the United States and the world through its lies and deception. Americans of all political stripes understand this and are more than willing to put the blame where it belongs. The Harris Poll finds 77 percent say the Chinese government is responsible for the spread of the virus, including 90 percent of Republicans and 67 percent of Democrats.

By lying to the world and obstructing an earlier global response to the virus, the Chinese Communist Party started this global forest fire. Just as it would be ridiculous to say someone is trying to scapegoat a fire-starter to divert attention from the failures of the firefighters, it is ridiculous to say that President Trump is trying to scapegoat China to divert attention from his administration’s response.

The fact is, no one — including our nation’s top public health experts — knew we were facing a once-in-a-generation pathogen. On Jan. 21, Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in an interview, “This is not a major threat for the people of the United States and this is not something that the citizens of the United States right now should be worried about.” Our government’s smartest medical minds expected this outbreak to be like the SARS, avian flu, swine flu, MERS, Zika and Ebola outbreaks that came before it — a serious public health emergency, to be sure, but one we could handle.

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