The US administration under Joe Biden has been proclaiming "America is back". But judging by what it is saying and doing, it is simply back to doing what has now become its new normal.

By politicising the pandemic, the world's sole superpower has made it clear that it has zero intention of joining hands with the rest of the world. Instead, it wants to build cliques on the premise of divide and dominate.

With the pandemic outlook remaining grim and more contagious variants of the novel coronavirus spreading in many parts of the world, people need the confidence, hope and spirit inspired by cooperation. Instead, the United States, out of political calculations and bias, has been sabotaging global solidarity in the fight against the virus by politicising the pandemic and the efforts to trace the origin of the outbreak.

Such despicable behavior puts people's lives and health at risk. If the US persists with its attempts to politicise and direct the origin tracing studies, and these are not checked, the consequences will be dire.

There is no doubting the necessity of determining how the deadly virus jumped to humans in order to guard against and better respond to any future public health risks, which experts warn are inevitable. But the investigations to identify the jump-point should be collaborative and objective.

Fully understanding the importance of tracing the interface for the virus' transmission to humans, and being the first country to identify the outbreak, China got the investigative efforts off to a good start by conducting a joint investigation with a World Health Organization expert team in January.

But there is an increasing amount of evidence showing the virus was circulating in other countries, including the US, Italy and Spain, long before the outbreak was spotted in a cluster of lung infections of unknown cause in Wuhan.

Questions are also flaring up regarding the links between the US Army's biochemical research base at Fort Detrick and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Obviously, to complete the puzzle of origin tracing, similar scientific investigations in countries other than China are needed.

Bending science to suit political ends will not help end the public health crisis, and politicising origin tracing will only cost more lives. Instead of playing political tricks over the pandemic, the US should reflect on its own performance in response to the pandemic.

The US has let the world down in the high-stakes battle with the virus. Its slow responses and low efficiency in pandemic control, coupled by its politicians' lies about the pandemic and its disgraceful vaccine hoarding, have drawn criticism both at home and abroad.

It is high time the US, instead of throwing mud at others, behaved like a responsible power and shored up the spirit of cooperation in combating the pandemic.


This article originally appeared in China Daily and has been reproduced with permission.

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