Democratic presidential nominee and former US vice-president Joe Biden and his vice-presidential running mate, US Senator Kamala Harris, arrive to conduct their first press conference together in Wilmington, Delaware, on August 12, 2020. Photo: AFP / Olivier Douliery

While the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 continues to propagate dangerously across the world, there is no denying that its health risks are real. Unfortunately, it has been used politically by the US to further its trade war against China, with a singular objective of bringing the Chinese to the negotiation table.

Beneath this global propaganda lies another, more sinister agenda. It is looking like the US and some of its allies are using the pandemic to cover up their poor governance.

Without a unified global approach to contain Covid-19 and mitigate its risks, the global war against this pandemic is already looking like a lost cause.

What makes it even more unpalatable is that a whole generation of young talents across the world, together with their dreams and aspirations, will be warehoused in cold storage for many years to come.

Growing psychosis of US leadership

For more than 30 years, the US has failed to nurture the competitive edges that made America great. Instead, its politicians, power-brokers and allies have been indulging in their own misguided elitism and ideological beliefs, leading to constant advocacy of destructive policies around the world.

From the Middle East to Africa, they had exaggerated the severity of terrorism and used it as an excuse to ravage many of these largely Islamic economies, leading to widespread human migration.

Fortunately, the world has taken notice that despite massive destruction and manipulation, the US can no longer win any war decisively or strategically. Even a hermit state like North Korea can see that it is pointless to continue talking with the US.

The US has not only divided itself with its systemic injustice and racism. Through its allies, President Donald Trump’s administration has managed to propagate malicious social engineering around the world. The recent Black Lives Matter protests and propagation of the Hong Kong democracy protests are just a small part of these growing menaces.

It does not help when the US persistently sanctions and bans foreign multinational corporations unilaterally, as it did to Alstom and Huawei, and more recently against TikTok. By curtailing the technological advancements of these foreign MNCs, the US is making a mockery of the global rules-based economy and has ended up looking like a big bully.

Joe Biden, the Democrats’ presidential nominee, and Kamala Harris, his running mate, were right to slam Trump and the Republicans with their call to “restore a broken nation.” Can the Democrats and the American people save the US from its growing psychosis?

Pandemic reality

Trump and his allies were quick to use the pandemic as a trade weapon against the Chinese, deliberately labeling it as the “Chinese virus” or “Wuhan virus.” They had obviously miscalculated the risks of the pandemic, presuming that it would go away like any other flu virus in no time.

As for those who persistently advocated that this virus was engineered or propagated by China, the truth is that if it were so, the US would have provided evidence and buried the Chinese by now.

As such, it would be more meaningful if these conspiracy theorists focused their attention on why some governments are deliberately misinforming and withholding vital information from their citizens, and exposed them accordingly.

When the city-state of Singapore consistently reported an exceptionally low mortality rate despite its exceptionally high infection rate, no country bothered to learn from this, for a very obvious reason. There is no globally accepted protocol for reporting of mortality rates from this pandemic.

So it does not help when that all reports and updates on the pandemic are now being channeled through the White House. Even if the Trump administration thinks it can creatively manage the data to boost the Republicans’ presidential re-election bid in November, it may be in for a massive surprise, as this pandemic is unlikely to go away or subside by itself in the next three months.

With new evidence and tracing coming from China and New Zealand that the virus can be traced to frozen and chilled food, and rising cases of re-infection, it looks like the fight against this virus will be protracted before it can be mitigated effectively.

Even if vaccines are available in the foreseeable future, there is no assurance that they will not end up doing more harm than the virus itself. They could also give a false sense of security.

Reversing the American nightmare

Instead of being inspiring, American politicians and their allies have turned the world into a massive killing field. Their destructive acts that have led to the ravaging of many economies, and countless loss of lives, but such hardships are now being inflicted on their own people.

Both Biden and Harris were right when stating that America is broken as a nation. On the pandemic front, the US must urgently re-empower the World Health Organization and also resuscitate its own pandemic early-warning program under the US Agency for International Development.

Until this pandemic is contained and its risks reasonably mitigated, many more innocent people will die or suffer irreversible health implications, not just in the US but globally too. If the US cannot even initiate such a simple yet pressing initiative, then its global leadership is already a lost cause, just like the global fight against this pandemic.

As Albert Einstein wisely stated, the world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything. We are all at fault if we do nothing about it. If the American people still believe that the supremacy of the US can be restored, then they must put more pressure on their presidential candidates and politicians to do what is right. The same is to be expected of citizens of the many wayward allies of the US.

Joseph Nathan has been the principal consultant with several consultancy agencies in Singapore for about three decades. For Malaysia, Indonesia and the Middle East, he undertakes consultancy via JN Advisory (M) Sdn Bhd and is also the brand owner of Victorian Herbal. He is a Singaporean and holds an MBA from Macquarie Graduate School of Management, Australia.