The U.S. and Chinese governments now appear more interested in taunting each other than cooperating to contain the damage wreaked by COVID-19. That’s bad news for the whole world, because if they worked together to limit further human and economic damage from this crisis and to prevent future viral emergencies from going global, there is much they could do.
U.S.-China relations have now reached their lowest point since the immediate aftermath of the Tiananmen Square massacre in June 1989. Both countries have suffered large-scale loss of life and a sharp economic slowdown, but political officials in both countries are working to protect their own domestic standing by blaming the other’s government. President Trump has taken to calling COVID-19 the “Chinese virus,” while senior Chinese officials and state media have pushed a ludicrous theory that the U.S. created the virus and planted it in China last fall.
This animosity didn’t begin,