Russia

US leads coronavirus fight — world looks to America now and for recovery

4/4/20
by Victor Davis Hansen,
from FoxNews,
4/3/20:

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 postwar 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 Jan. 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 None of the ban’s loud critics is today demanding it be rescinded.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 to 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.

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.

The radical increase in American natural gas productions helps explain why the U.S. has made more progress in reducing carbon emissions than the signatories of the Paris climate accord. That voluntary agreement has had little success in curbing the planet’s largest carbon emitters.

The truth is that the free world would be a safer and more secure place if Europe, not the U.S., acted more responsibly. Individual European Union countries have junked their utopian EU brotherhood and are reverting to nationalist self-interests.

Fracking natural gas, with less reliance on coal-fired power plants, might have allowed European nations to meet their Paris climate accord promises.

If the European Union produced more of its own gas and oil, it would not empower Moscow and the Middle East through its colossal importation of their energy. And if NATO countries just met their obligation to spend 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense, then the West would not be so vulnerable in such times of crisis. NATO nations could more effectively draw on their military and health resources to fight the virus. Nor has the United Nations been much help. Its World Health Organization simply parroted Chinese propaganda in the key initial weeks of the virus.

Throughout the outbreak, the media have promulgated sensationalism and helped fan the hysteria. It could better use its muckraking journalists to police itself. Any laxity in fighting the virus is not to be found with the U.S., but rather with its loudest and most opportunistic critics.

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