Council Of Foreign Relations President: Don’t Put All The Blame On China. Blame U.S. Too.
Richard Haass, president of the Council On Foreign Relations, speaks during an interview on the sidelines of the 80th annual Mexican Banking Association in Acapulco, Mexico, on Thursday, March 23, 2017.
Photo by Susana Gonzalez/Bloomberg via Getty Images

On Thursday morning, Richard N. Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations, decided to load the blame for the coronavirus on America, tweeting, “Yes, the #coronavirus crisis had its origins in China-both its wet market & its initial coverup-but China cannot be blamed for our own months of denial, the lack of protective gear, tests & ventilators, & the failure still to require social distancing throughout the entire US.”

Last October Haass accused President Trump of “sowing the seeds of violence.” He stated that Trump was “not allowing Congress to play its legitimate constitutional role, by attacking the deep state, by going after the independence of judges, the independence of the media, by not allowing people to testify. That is what is undermining the political system.”

He continued, “What we are seeing here in the United States is an attempt to stop the legitimate processes of government, to undermine the legitimate organs of government in order to protect the president. This is dangerous, and what you’re getting at, also this is sowing the seeds of violence. If you delegitimize government, if you delegitimize what is normal, then you’re creating a space for something else, and the something else is either extra-constitutional political activity or even worse in some ways violence. That is what we’re beginning to see here.”

In May 2018, Haass slammed President Trump for exiting the Iran nuclear deal, snapping, “On balance it does virtually nothing that’s good. It reinforces the notion that we are something of a rogue country.”

A quick check of the calendar shows how inaccurate Haass is about the coronavirus timeline when he accuses the U.S. of “months of denial.” The first cases of coronavirus occurred last November, according to the South China Morning Post. In mid-January the World Health Organization reported that China said there had been no transmission of the virus, tweeting, “Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel ‪#coronavirus(2019-nCoV) identified in ‪#Wuhan,‪#China.”

On January 30 the World Health Organization declared a health emergency, stating: “The Committee agreed that the outbreak now meets the criteria for a Public Health Emergency of International Concern and proposed the following advice to be issued as Temporary Recommendations.” The WHO also commended China for its “transparency,” writing, “The Committee emphasized that the declaration of a PHEIC should be seen in the spirit of support and appreciation for China, its people, and the actions China has taken on the frontlines of this outbreak, with transparency, and, it is to be hoped, with success.”

The very next day, President Trump swiftly issued a ban on any travelers from China.

As far as blaming America, The New York Times noted on March 13 that for a time, China stopped selling masks to other nations:

China made half the world’s masks before the coronavirus emerged there, and it has expanded production nearly 12-fold since then. But it has claimed mask factory output for itself. Purchases and donations also brought China a big chunk of the world’s supply from elsewhere… Peter Navarro, an adviser to President Trump on manufacturing and trade, contended on Fox Business last month that China had essentially taken over factories that make masks on behalf of American companies. Beijing, he said, had opted to “nationalize effectively 3M, our company. In a statement, Minnesota-based 3M said most of the masks it made at its factory in Shanghai had been sold within China even before the outbreak.

The Times continued, “China did not just stop selling masks — it also bought up much of the rest of the world’s supply.”

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