A new poll showed that 73 percent of Americans surveyed blame China for the deaths caused by the coronavirus.
The Morning Consult poll revealed that 80 percent of Republicans surveyed say China is “somewhat” or very” responsible for the deaths the virus has caused in America.
Democrats are also hard on China, with 71 percent assigning China blame for American deaths.
Americans who do not socially distance received their share of the blame as well. Eighty-four percent of Democrats blamed them for deaths caused by the virus, as did 67 percent of Republicans. Overall, 73 percent of those responding said Americans who broke social distancing rules were responsible for the death toll.
The poll showed the typical partisan divide in assessing the Trump administration. Eighty-one percent of Democrats surveyed said the Trump administration bore responsibility for the death toll, against 37 percent of Republicans. When the broader question was asked about the federal government’s responsibility, 79 percent of Democrats said it was responsible for American deaths, while 46 percent of Republicans felt that way.
The poll found that 65 percent of Republicans blamed the World Health Organization for U.S. deaths, as did 51 percent of Democrats. Overall, 56 percent heaped blame on the WHO.
Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas has been a vocal critic of China’s actions, particularly in the early days of the coronavirus crisis.
“There’s no question that Xi Jinping and senior officials in the Chinese Communist Party were pressuring the WHO all the way back to December to undersell the risk of this virus,” he said Sunday on the Fox News show “Sunday Morning Futures.”
“Look, they knew in China early on, probably as early as the early days of December, that this virus was both highly contagious among humans and that it was very deadly for certain people. Yet they wanted to save face,” he said.
“They wanted to make sure — in addition to saving face — that once they realized this virus was going to cripple their own economy, that it did not remain limited to China.
“So the WHO has some real answers to provide to the world about why they bowed to Chinese pressure throughout December and January and turned what could have been a local health emergency in Wuhan into a global pandemic.”
Cotton said a study of cell phone traffic in and around Wuhan suggests an October shutdown around the laboratory identified a possible source of the virus.
“The reports indicate that on major roads around these labs, Wuhan, you obviously had thousands and thousands of cell phones pinging towers day in and day out,” Cotton said. “And then all of a sudden in October, it stopped and it remained stopped for several days. That would suggest without any further information that those roads were blocked for some reason. Now we need to go confirm that.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently said there is no question China bears responsibility for the virus.
“With respect to the source of the virus, look, we know this much: We know that this originated in Wuhan, China. That was challenged by the Chinese at the front end. This administration was very clear we weren’t going to accept that disinformation, pushed back. I think the whole world knows that this began and originated there in Wuhan. Where exactly it came from, it matters. We want to know the answers to that,” Pompeo said on the Jack Heath Radio Show, according to a transcript posted on the State Department’s website.
“There’s evidence that it came from somewhere in the vicinity of the lab, but that could be wrong. We need to get the answer to that. It matters because we need to know where patient zero came from. We need it for all of the epidemiological work that needs to be done to protect Americans today and tomorrow,” he said.
Pompeo also criticized the WHO.
“They didn’t get it right. The WHO failed in its mission to provide the information to the world in a timely fashion about the risk that was emanating from China. They knew it; they saw it. There was pressure from the Chinese Government not to declare this a pandemic, and it became a political institution rather than a medical, scientific institution that it was designed to be,” he said.
Peter Daszak, a disease ecologist at the nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance, said that the coronavirus was likely active in China prior to December, and added that he estimated one to seven million people a year in Southern China and Southeast Asia are infected with viruses that come from bats. Bats are considered one possible source of the virus, though most bat viruses are not transmitted among humans.
“This particular outbreak probably was in people circulating in South or Central China back in November” or even earlier, he told Bloomberg.
The Western Journal reached out to Morning Consult for information on the poll’s methodology but did not immediately receive a response.
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