by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
A current global myth alleges that America under the Trump administration is not leading the world fight against the coronavirus in its accustomed role as the post-war global leader.
Yet the U.S. was the first major nation to issue a travel ban on flights from China, with Donald Trump making that announcement on January 31. That was a bold act. It likely saved thousands endangered by Chinese perfidy and soon became a global model. None of the ban’s loud critics are today demanding it be rescinded.
In typically American fashion, as we have seen in crises from Pearl Harbor to 9/11, after initial shock and unpreparedness, the U.S. economic and scientific juggernaut is kicking into action.
Already the U.S. is transitioning from a long, disastrous reliance on Chinese medical supplies and pharmaceuticals. In ad hoc fashion, companies are gearing up massive production of masks, ventilators, and key anti-viral supplies.
The number of known deaths from the virus — for now the only reliable data available — shows a fatality rate of about 7–8 per million people in the United States. That per capita toll is analogous to Germany’s and one of the lowest in the world among larger nations.
The U.S. economy in 2019 — with its near-record-low unemployment, inflation, and interest rates — was the most robust in the world. It will soon be the key to rebooting global production and trade.
Confronting China over patent and copyright theft, technological appropriation, dumping, and currency manipulation was not just in the U.S. interest, but for the global good.
A reckless and disingenuous China poses an existential threat to countries across the globe. The only world bulwark against Chinese propaganda and bullying remains U.S. economic and military power.
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