"U.S.-style human rights" crisis magnified by COVID-19
2020/07/08

The China Society for Human Rights Studies released an article titled The COVID-19 Pandemic Magnifies the Crisis of "U.S.-Style Human Rights" on June 11.

The U.S. government's self-interested, short-sighted, inefficient, and irresponsible response to the pandemic has caused the tragedy in which about 2 million Americans became infected with the virus and more than 110,000 have died from it, the article said. (The number of confirmed cases in the U.S. surpassed 3 million with over 132,000 deaths on July 8, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.)

It has exposed the long-existing and now deteriorating problems in the United States, such as a divisive society, the polarization between the rich and the poor, racial discrimination, and the inadequate protection of the rights and interests of vulnerable groups, according to the article.

"This has led the American people into grave human rights disasters," it read.

 

A healthcare worker wheels a stretcher into the emergency room at Lenox Health Greenwich Village during the COVID-19 pandemic in New York, the United States, May 26, 2020. (Photo by Michael Nagle/Xinhua)

 

The article pointed out that the U.S. government has ignored the pandemic warnings, prioritized capital interests and politicized the anti-pandemic endeavor in its COVID-19 response.

When the virus broke out in the United States, some U.S. politicians used it as a weapon to attack political opponents, viewed it as an opportunity to seize power and partisan interests, and prioritized the response of the capital market, instead of regarding the drive to protect the lives and health of their people as their top priority, it said.

"Due to this, the U.S. government failed to give effective warnings to the public and failed to get prepared for the potential consumption of medical resources caused by the pandemic, bringing the American people to the brink of infection and death," it noted.

The article added that inequality within U.S. society has been fully exposed during the pandemic.

"The pandemic has made the lives of people at the bottom of U.S. society increasingly difficult, and further intensified the social polarization between rich and poor," it said, adding that the high unemployment rate brought about by the pandemic has led the working class into a crisis of survival.

 

A man wearing a face mask walks by a memorial for COVID-19 victims in front of Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn borough of New York, the United States, May 27, 2020. (Photo by Michael Nagle/Xinhua)

 

Vulnerable groups in the United States have been struggling to survive during the pandemic, it noted.

The elderly have been the "victims" of the U.S. government's ineffectiveness in fighting the pandemic, which also left the homeless having nowhere to go and poor children and immigrant children in worrisome situation, according to the article.

 

Photo taken on May 24, 2020 shows the front page of the New York Times, which features the names of 1,000 people who have died of COVID-19 in the United States, at the Times Square in New York, the United States. (Xinhua/Wang Ying)

 

Highlighting intensified racial discrimination within the United States during the pandemic, the article said Asian Americans have been suffering from stigmatization, African and Hispanic Americans have fallen victims to severe racial inequality, and there has also been frequent racist violence.

George Floyd, an African-American man from Minnesota, died recently after a white police officer pressed his knee on Floyd's neck for several minutes during his arrest. This led to large-scale protests and demonstrations across the United States, once again exposing the dissatisfaction and anger that the American people have for the worsening racial inequality.

 

During a protest over the death of George Floyd, people demonstrate in front of the White House in Washington D.C., the United States, on May 31, 2020. (Xinhua/Liu Jie)

 

The article pointed out that in the face of this global fight against the virus, the U.S. government, instead of focusing on controlling the pandemic, wields a hegemonic stick and fans the flames of trouble everywhere, trying to divert attention and shirk responsibility.

The U.S. government has failed the national duty of ensuring the citizens' right to life with its ineffective anti-pandemic response; it maliciously stigmatized China in violation of the principles of equality and non-discrimination; it impeded the joint anti-pandemic efforts of the international community by suspending the payment of WHO membership fees; it also violated the spirit of humanitarianism and the principle of international cooperation by imposing unilateral sanctions, according to the article.

 

During a protest over the death of George Floyd, demonstrators march across Brooklyn Bridge in New York, the United States, June 6, 2020. (Photo by Michael Nagle/Xinhua)

 

"Relevant behaviors of the U.S. government seriously violate the spirit of international human rights law," it said, noting that such behaviors also undermined the international community's concerted efforts to control the pandemic.

 

Source: Xinhua