US Diplomat Haass: ‘China Cannot Be Held Responsible for Our Lack of Testing’ or Shortage of Ventilators

US Diplomat Haass: ‘China Cannot Be Held Responsible for Our Lack of Testing’ or Shortage of Ventilators


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Janet Ybarra
Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press

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If Donald Trump wants to blame China for the outbreak of the coronavirus and the COVID-19 pandemic, that blame can go only so far, particularly while Donald Trump maintains a “schizophrenic relationship” with China, according to a prominent American diplomat.

Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations and a former State Department official and adviser to one-time secretary of state Colin Powell, was asked about Donald Trump’s attempts to blame China for the virus outbreak, which is blamed for more than 610,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide. The virus has killed more than 28,000.

In the United States, there have been 105,778 confirmed cases and 1,731 deaths, according to the most recent figures.

“Look, China does deserve criticism, not so much because it began there–it could have begun anywhere–but because of the cover-up and their initial response,” Haass said in an on-air segment on CNN. “But China cannot be held responsible for our lack of testing or our shortage of ventilators or anything else. We’ve got to deal with that ourselves. This also, though, takes place in a larger context.

“This administration has had a bizarre, almost schizophrenic relationship approach to China since the get-go. On one hand we’ve painted them as a strategic rival. We’ve been incredibly critical. On the other hand, as as recently as today, the president has this friendly conversation with [China’s] President Xi. We did the first phase of a trade deal. It’s both ways. They want to blame China, and at the same time they want to maintain something of a relationship with China, and certainly with its leader.”

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