US$10t demand for Covid-19 reparations: Setting the record straight

TRYING to pick the most notable lies from Donald Trump’s presidency is like trying to pick the most notable pieces of junk from the town dump. There’s just so much ugly garbage to sift through before you can make a decision.” CNN Analyst, Daniel Dale Jan 16, 2021

“Former US president Trump easily won the 2024 GOP presidential nomination poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference CPAC) gathering this weekend in Texas. Trump, who’s repeatedly flirted with making another presidential run in 2024 to try and return to the White House, captured 70% of ballots cast in the anonymous straw poll ... That’s a boost from the 55% support he won in the hypothetical 2024 Republican primary matchup straw poll at CPAC Orlando in late February.” Paul Steinhauser, Fox News, July 12, 2021

Fact checking Trump

Now that Trump is the Republican Party frontrunner for the next US Presidential elections, a further escalation of the “China must pay for Covid-19” campaign led by the US can be expected.

In Trump’s latest foray on the “China” virus on June 5, he linked the latest lab-leak theory highlighted by The Wall Street Journal paper to the damage caused by Covid-19 and demanded that China pay US$10 trillion in “reparations” to the US for the pandemic damage.

He also called on the US to impose 100% tariffs on all Chinese imports and for countries that owed money to China to follow the US example and cancel their debts as “down payment” on reparations.

Featuring his speech in their coverage, most US and other western mainstream media have very short memories and have chosen to conceal the fact that Trump was the most enthusiastic cheerleader and supporter of China’s efforts to contain the pandemic in its early days.

Fortunately, the internet archives can set the record straight. Politico, a political magazine covering US politics and policy, has recorded how Trump, throughout early 2020 when the virus began to impact China and countries around the world, repeatedly praised President Xi Jinping and China for the hard work and transparency in trying to defeat the virus.

In an April 2020 article, 15 times Trump praised China as coronavirus was spreading across the globe, Politico in its web outlet has detailed Trump’s appreciation for China’s efforts to combat the coronavirus when it emerged in Wuhan.

US embassies as well as the US government media outlets should deny or verify the following Trump presidential statements to enlighten US supporters around the world

Trump praises China and President Xi

Twitter message from Trump, Jan 24, 2020: “China has been working very hard to contain the Coronavirus. The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency. It will all work out well. In particular, on behalf of the American People, I want to thank President Xi!”

Fox News Interview, Jan 30: “China is not in great shape right now, unfortunately. But they’re working very hard. We’ll see what happens. But we’re working very closely with China and other countries.”

Remarks at North Carolina Opportunity Now Summit, Charlotte, N.C, Feb 7: “I just spoke to President Xi last night, and, you know, we’re working on the — the problem, the virus. It’s a — it’s a very tough situation. But I think he’s going to handle it. I think he’s handled it really well. We’re helping wherever we can.”

Twitter, Feb 7: “Just had a long and very good conversation by phone with President Xi of China. He is strong, sharp and powerfully focused on leading the counterattack on the Coronavirus. He feels they are doing very well, even building hospitals in a matter of only days ... Great discipline is taking place in China, as President Xi strongly leads what will be a very successful operation. We are working closely with China to help!

Remarks Before Marine One departure, Feb 7: “Late last night, I had a very good talk with President Xi, and we talked about — mostly about the coronavirus. They’re working really hard, and I think they are doing a very professional job. They’re in touch with World — the World — World (Health) Organisation. CDC also. We’re working together. But World Health is working with them. CDC is working with them. I had a great conversation last night with President Xi. It’s a tough situation. I think they’re doing a very good job.”

Fox Business interview, Feb 10: “I think China is very, you know, professionally run in the sense that they have everything under control,” Trump said. “I really believe they are going to have it under control fairly soon. You know in April, supposedly, it dies with the hotter weather. And that’s a beautiful date to look forward to. But China I can tell you is working very hard.”

Fox News interview, Feb 13: “I think they’ve handled it professionally and I think they’re extremely capable and I think President Xi is extremely capable and I hope that it’s going to be resolved.”

Speaking before Air Force One departure, Feb 18: “I think President Xi is working very hard. As you know, I spoke with him recently. He’s working really hard. It’s a tough problem. I think he’s going to do — look, I’ve seen them build hospitals in a short period of time. I really believe he wants to get that done, and he wants to get it done fast. Yes, I think he’s doing it very professionally.”

Remarks in a business roundtable in New Delhi, India, Feb 26: “China is working very, very hard. I have spoken to President Xi, and they’re working very hard. And if you know anything about him, I think he’ll be in pretty good shape. They’re — they’ve had a rough patch, and I think right now they have it — it looks like they’re getting it under control more and more. They’re getting it more and more under control.”

Coronavirus Task Force Press Conference, Feb 29: “China seems to be making tremendous progress. Their numbers are way down. ... I think our relationship with China is very good. We just did a big trade deal. We’re starting on another trade deal with China — a very big one. And we’ve been working very closely. They’ve been talking to our people, we’ve been talking to their people, having to do with the virus.”

What next in the reparations politicisation

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and a large majority of respected independent scientists have generally concluded that the virus had its origin in a Wuhan wet market.

Despite this, the Biden administration appears to be joining hands with Trump in this latest attempt at demonising China.

What the US media can do is not only to set the record on who in the United States has been responsible for the massive losses arising from the pandemic in the country.

The US media also needs to point out that the issue of reparations is much more than a double-edged knife since the US has responsibility for the incalculable damage caused to many nations by its pursuit of hegemony and dominance since World War II.

Lim Teck Ghee’s Another Take is aimed at demystifying social orthodoxy. Comments: