China's Media Predicts Winter COVID Pain for U.S., Europe and India

Chinese state media has continued its attacks on its rivals over their handling of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, predicting that continued failure to deal with the virus will bring a painful winter wave of new infections and deaths.

The pandemic originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan at the start of this year, spreading worldwide and to date claiming more than 1 million lives. China was able to bring its own outbreak under control through strict population control measures, but was unable to stop the virus spreading beyond its borders.

Nationalistic Chinese state media has celebrated Beijing's success and maligned its rivals' efforts to fight the spread of the disease. State media has been at the forefront of China's propaganda push to avoid blame for the pandemic and reject accusations that Beijing covered up the severity of the outbreak and failed to adequately warn the international community.

Lawmakers in the U.S. and Europe have pushed back against Chinese efforts to define the coronavirus narrative, accusing Beijing of a broad disinformation effort combined with headline-grabbing "mask diplomacy"—i.e. medical assistance for affected nations, some of which was rejected as inadequate.

On Tuesday, the Global Times newspaper—owned by the People's Daily which is the official publication of the Chinese Communist Party—again celebrated China's success in suppressing the pandemic and warned that rivals in the U.S., Europe and India are facing fresh coronavirus pain.

"It's already autumn in the northern hemisphere and winter is not far away," the newspaper said in an editorial. "As the temperature drops, the global pandemic is gaining a fresh momentum."

"Many European countries, which enjoyed relief for several days, face the impact of the second wave of the epidemic," it added. "The coronavirus is spreading in India, China's southern neighbor, at an astonishing speed. Some predict India will become the world's most epidemic-hit country. Then, of course, there's the U.S."

The U.S. has become the world's worst-affected nation, so far registering more than 7 million infections and more than 205,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

President Donald Trump's administration has tried to pin the blame entirely on Beijing, but the embattled president has been widely criticized for his incoherent and politicized response to the crisis.

The virus and its economic impact is playing a major role in the looming presidential election, with Democratic challenger Joe Biden hammering Trump on his record. In response, Trump has repeatedly praised his own performance and accused Biden of being soft on China.

Meanwhile, Chinese state media has been repeatedly attacking the U.S. response, framing criticism of Beijing's action as racist attempts to shift blame away from Washington, D.C.

"The U.S., as the worst-hit but most powerful country, should take the blame," Global Times argued. "If international society has neither the ability nor resolve to reflect on this fiasco, or should the U.S. continue to take a passive attitude or even resist global cooperation in the pandemic fight, then mankind will have to pay an even more painful price."

Trump handed China a propaganda win by announcing his plan to withdraw the U.S. from the World Health Organization at the height of the pandemic. Trump accused the United Nations body of being beholden to China. His attacks on the organization prompted angry rebuttals from American allies and adversaries alike.

"The Trump administration has failed to effectively deal with the coronavirus, and is dividing the world at the peak of the pandemic," Global Times wrote Tuesday. "What it has done will become a huge stain of this U.S. government."

State newspaper China Daily—owned by the CCP's propaganda department—said there is "no sign that the pandemic is abating," citing "stunning numbers" of new cases in certain countries. "Even in the United States, where COVID-19 induced fatalities have crossed the 200,000 mark, substantial upticks are being reported in multiple states," it added.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci—for many the face of the federal response to the pandemic—told ABC News Monday the U.S. is "not in a good place" in its coronavirus battle.

Though there are "certainly parts of the country that are doing well", Fauci said: "There are states that are starting to show uptick in cases and even some increases in hospitalizations in some states."

"I hope not but, we very well might start seeing increases in deaths," Fauci warned. "You don't want to be in a position like that as the weather starts getting cold."

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Medical workers walk near NYU Langone Health hospital in Murray Hill, in New York, as the city continues Phase 4 of re-opening following restrictions imposed to slow the spread of coronavirus on September 29, 2020. Noam Galai/Getty Images/Getty