The US and the West must learn from the Chinese, drop egotism, treat coronavirus epidemic purely as a health crisis and focus on saving lives. This is from a sternly worded stricture on the West by the China government mouthpiece.

In the weeks following the coronavirus outbreak, the Chinese were at the receiving end of criticism and ridicule. With deaths and infections spiralling, there was sharp - often unfair - focus on the Chinese lifestyle, food habits and governance. With the infection coming under relative control in China, the Chinese are seemingly returning the favour.

Western media doesn't get it

A commentary in a prominent Chinese daily now lampoons the US and the western media for failure to 'understand' the epidemic. The Global Times piece notes that while the infection is under control in China, the rampage still continues unabated in western countries.

Coronavirus status as of 9 March, 2020
Coronavirus status as of 9 March, 2020 GISAID

The article specifically mentions the United States, saying that the authorities in the US are not even able to say how many people are infected in the country. It must be remembered that there was strident criticism of China's lack of 'transparency' regarding the coronavirus data. Many in the West doubted if China's Communist Party was fudging infection and death data to shore up people's confidence.

The article now dishes it back to the US, asking why the US, the "world's superpower" can't put a finger on the exact extent of infections in the country. "This is worrisome because the US, the world's superpower which is thought to have the strongest medical resources in the world, can't even confirm the exact number of COVID-19 infections," the opinion piece says.

Washing hands frequently is the best way to prevent the coronavirus infection
Washing hands frequently is the best way to prevent the coronavirus infection Twitter

You accused us of leaking bioweapons

The article says the "lack of coordination in the US" was obvious. It notes that the websites of the WHO, the US CDC and Johns Hopkins University reported different numbers of confirmed cases of coronavirus infections in the US.

The Chinese would rather not forget the taunts they received over their 'weird' food habits that apparently caused the virus outbreak. In the initial weeks of the outbreak, Chinese and Asian people were targeted elsewhere in the world. There were theories that the virus was leaked from a secretive Chinese bioweapons laboratory.

West should drop egotism and learn from China

Now that the US and the west are grappling with the virus, the China mouthpiece is asking the West to drop egotism and learn from China's experience. "It's time for the US and the West to let go of their egotism, start to confront the epidemic from the perspective of protecting people's lives and health, learn from China's experience, adopt effective measures and jointly cooperate on defeating COVID-19 with other countries," it says.

"Every attempt to politicize the epidemic or look for a scapegoat only reveals Western hypocrisy that will continue to cost the lives of their own people."

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FT, NYT and Bloomberg got it wrong

The article also takes a dig at the US daily Financial Times for questioning the rampant use of face masks in China. it says that FT insinuated that wearing masks revealed the Chinee people's lack of trust [in the government]. The article also excoriates the New York Times and Bloomberg for allegedly running a politically biased narrative on coronavirus.