Covid-19 Conspiracy Theories and US Campaign: CNN

US presidential candidates have paused campaigns due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The world learned about the deadly disease in early January, and incumbent Donald Trump repeatedly insisted the United States had Covid-19 under control. Months later the United States represents one third of the world’s confirmed cases and more than one quarter of the deaths, outcomes that expose layers of inequality and a costly health care system that that struggles with public health, prevention and patient education. A consulting firm urges the president’s Republican Party to blame China and suggest, “the Trump administration would have acted forcefully had it only known the real ‘truth,’” explains Stephen Roach, “the latest in a long string of unsubstantiated conspiracy theories that the President has embraced over the years.” Soon after entering the office, the Trump administration disbanded the Global Health Security and Biodefense unit of the National Security Council, set up after the Ebola epidemic. US voters will assess the next six months of the Covid-19 response and leadership that emphasizes rapid reopening. US opinions of China are at an all-time low, but Roach points out that increased tensions with the world’s second largest economy will not resolve US Covid-19 problems. – YaleGlobal

Covid-19 Conspiracy Theories and US Campaign: CNN

The US Covid-19 response – and Chinese conspiracy theories – could feature predominantly in the US presidential campaign
Stephen Roach
Monday, May 11, 2020

Read the essay from CNN about Covid-19 and the US presidential campaign.

 Stephen Roach, a faculty member at Yale University and former Chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia, is the author of Unbalanced: The Codependency of America and China (2014).

Read about the disbanding of the Global Health Security and Biodefense Unit with the National Security Council from Reuters.

Confirmed Covid-19 Cases US 1.3 million, China 84,000;  Covid-19 Deaths US  80,000;  China	4,637
(Source: Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering)

A Timeline on US Covid-19 Response: WHO, Just Security, China Briefing, Global Times)


May 7: US National Security Council director of medical and biodefense preparedness warns that the United States is not prepared for flu pandemic

May 8: National Security Advisor John Bolton removes Rear Admiral Timothy Ziemer from the National Security Council and disbands the global health security unit


July: US Centers for Disease control removes US public health official based at China’s disease control agency

September: US Council of Economic Advisors warns a flu pandemic could result in tremendous losses and the country is not prepared.

October: Trump administration cuts funding for a program designed to prevent pandemics related to animal-borne viruses

Nov-Dec: US intelligence agencies warn about a new disease emerging in China

Dec 31: China, reports cluster of cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, China


Jan: US intelligence agencies repeat warnings about virus

Jan 3: Chinese colleagues alert the US CDC director

Jan 12: China shares genetic sequence

Jan 13: US drops currency manipulator label for China

Jan 14: WHO technical team reports human-to-human transmission

Jan 15: US and China sign phase one of a trade deal

Jan 17: CDC recommends health screenings on air travelers from Wuhan

Jan 20: US reports first Covid-19 case

Jan 22: China imposes lockdown on Wuhan and Trump reports he “trusts” China; China reports the virus can be transmitted by those not showing symptoms

Jan 27: US Coronavirus Task Force begins daily meetings

Jan 30: WHO declares a Public Health Emergency of International Concern; US commerce secretary suggests the virus could restore US supply chains and jobs

Feb 2: US limits entry from China with exemptions

Feb 5: US sends out test kits, but flaws are soon reported with tests recalled

Feb 7: The US donates medical supplies to China

Feb 16: WHO sends team, including US experts, to China

Feb 17: China grants tariff exemptions on select US goods

Feb 25: US military intelligences warns of a pandemic

Feb 28: Trump suggests the virus will disappear like a “miracle” and that opponents “politicize the coronavirus”; US rejects using WHO diagnostic test

Mar: China donates supplies to more about 80 nations

Mar 10: The US struggles to distribute test kits

Mar 11: WHO declares global health pandemic; US restricts travel from Europe

Mar 13: Trump declares national emergency

Mar 16: US announces social-distancing guidelines

Mar 17: US approves $2 trillion stimulus bill

Apr: Trump administration encourages states to set their own rules; states report that the federal officials seize supplies of medical protective gear

Apr 7: Trump describes WHO as “China-centric”

Apr 13: States lead their Covid-19 responses and announce coalitions to coordinate reopening

Apr 14: Trump halts WHO funding

Apr 29: US ramps up vaccine development

Apr 30: The administration shifts on claims that a laboratory in Wuhan created the virus

May 8: China and US reconfirm trade commitments and share Covid-19 updates

May 10: China criticizes US lawsuits, suggesting the US response is inadequate


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