KAMPALA — Washington’s continued contradiction in the global fight against COVID-19 undermines efforts to eradicate the disease that is causing havoc in many countries, a Ugandan foreign policy analyst has said.
The United States is politicizing the global response to the pandemic, which sets a dangerous precedent, said Allawi Ssemanda, a research fellow with Development Watch Center, a foreign policy think tank based here, in an article published on the state-owned New Vision website on Wednesday.
Ssemanda wrote that US president Joe Biden’s instructions to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to investigate the origin of the coronavirus is a clear diversion from his earlier belief in the World Health Organization (WHO), which his predecessor Donald Trump had chosen to abandon.
The CIA-led inquiry undermines an on-the-ground investigation led by WHO experts, Ssemanda noted, adding the experts earlier this year concluded their phase one findings, observing that it was “extremely unlikely” that the coronavirus started in a laboratory.
“Upon this background, one can reason that with WHO primary report out and their investigations ongoing, any country to announce a parallel investigation led by political appointees should not only worry us but inspire us to ask more questions,” Ssemanda said.
“How can we trust CIA report which receives orders from only Washington? Whose interest will their report be? Is President Biden continuing Trump era policy of America first which he often denounced for isolating the US from international community?” Ssemanda asked.
On the outbreak of COVID-19, China took stringent measures to contain the pandemic, while Washington branded Beijing’s efforts as draconian, he noted.
“Instead of learning from measures China employed in containing the coronavirus, the US chose denial, and as tens of thousands of people lost lives to COVID-19, some pundits and politicians started blame game possibly to divert people from critiquing their weakness in containing the virus,” Ssemanda said.
“Instead of focusing on producing more vaccines and supporting efforts to contain the spread of the virus not just in the US but also in developing world, Biden administration is now choosing to concentrate on finding origin of coronavirus,” he added.