These are bad times for Joe, aka President Biden. The disastrous amaze The Afghan hornet’s nest in the United States, despite its imposed triumphalism, has caused a myriad of stings to its reputation, today in the subsoil. Perhaps in terminal state for the rest of his term.
In a few weeks, Joe Biden has gone from being Pragmatic joe, Kind joe or, directly, Joe who is not Donald, to embody the effigy of defeat, disaster and imperial decline after the Kabul hecatomb.
Seen by some as a Franklin Delano Roosevelt I revive, those same Some now have to lower their necks at the reactivated myth of Sleepy Joe (Sleepy joe), an appellation used by the president’s detractors since his time with Obama for his senescence, lack of spark and stubborn executive slowness.
But Joe had a great plan just 90 days ago. And it is that only a quarter ago, and an eternity in this dizzying world, a much more confident and relaxed Biden appeared as Gary Cooper announcing the commission to the US intelligence agencies of a rapid investigation that would determine the real origin of the Covid-19 pandemic and that would allow to know, finally, if it was natural or artificial.
Shortly before, on May 14, the magazine Science published a letter signed by 18 scientists calling for “proper research” and “dispassionate science-based discourse on this difficult, but important issue.”
His proposal added to the growing number of voices that have given credence to the theory of a bug in the Wuhan lab. Usual thesis of conspiranoids and Trumpists, but without any proof that allows it to be discarded. Not surprisingly, Joe Biden’s oxygenated predecessor normalized the expression chinese virus as a description of Covid-19.
Harvard and other prestigious institutions have accused Biden of turning a crucial investigation into a vulgar political fight
Today, the conviction among the American population that the origin of SarsCov2 was artificial has increased from 29% to 59% in just one year, according to the Pew Research Center.
The play, then, could go really well for Joe. If the fulleo of the Chinese, or their mere negligence, or even the confirmation of the natural origin of the virus (and here peace and then glory), their administration would rise as a champion of truth and rigor in the eyes of the world. Also hitting a shot of political reputation, bordering on the historical milestone, within its own borders.
Moreover, put to order, and in a scenario more typical of a script by Michael BayIf Beijing had been behind all this from the beginning, the wave of global outrage would sweep away the popularity of the great eastern dragon and place it in a very delicate position in relation to the rest of the planet.
However, sadly for Joe, who will wonder who puts his leg on him, the report has been delivered and the conclusion is … that there is no conclusion: agencies ask for more time and blame China for putting insurmountable obstacles to the investigation.
Beijing, for its part, accuses the United States of meddling where it is not called and strongly recommends that it resort to official WHO reports, in which China has participated “actively” showing signs of “truthfulness.”
Few should have come as a surprise to these conclusions, given the opacity of the Chinese authorities. But not for that reason the reactions have been light with the White House. John Hopkins, Harvard and other prestigious scientific institutions have accused Joe Biden of having turned a crucial investigation to know the traceability of a devastating pandemic, as well as to take note of future health emergencies, in a vulgar political fight and in a propaganda weapon to tarnish the reputation of the other.
What just 90 days ago was a master move is today another stone in the backpack of the increasingly exhausted Joe
The arguments they make are convincing. On the one hand, the investigation has been carried out by intelligence and espionage agencies, not by scientific institutions. The John Hopkins public health council recalls that “the commissions of investigation of tragedies like those of the Challenger or the spill of the Deepwater Horizon were created precisely to clarify what happened and that it does not happen again. In this case, ridiculous resources have been devoted to an investigation that was doomed before it began.
On the other side of the board, the Chinese do the same and also shield themselves in this circumstance to attack the United States, showing it as the hidden murderer of a novel by Agatha Christie. In rural China, thanks to Beijing’s propaganda machine, 90% of the population believe that the virus was created in the United States.
The report still has parts to be declassified, but there is nothing to suggest that major releases are pending. Hence, Biden’s team has confirmed, in the face of scientific clamor, that the investigations will continue despite China.
So the question is, or is again: and then what can happen? Can China be punished in any way, whether the origin is natural or artificial? The truth is that there is no legislation in this regard and experts such as Yanzhong Huang, Senior World Health Researcher at the Council of Foreign Relations, estimate that sanctions could in any case be proposed (another thing is for Beijing, with its formidable force, to abide by them) whether the virus is of animal origin (ban its traditional markets or regulate the transport of wild animals from the countryside to the city) as if it is artificial (economic sanctions).
But, official punishments aside, Huang believes that the really painful thing for China would be to see its very careful soft power diminished. “Chinese officials have not only vigorously denied the possibility of a laboratory leak, but have even downplayed the thesis that China was the source of the virus. They have argued that the pandemic had multiple points of origin, that it spread through imported frozen food, or that it escaped from a US Army laboratory at Fort Detrick, Maryland. If the hypothesis of the escape from Wuhan is considered true, all that propaganda would be exposed as such, especially if there was a cover-up. “
Conjectures and castles in the air, the only certainty so far is that what just 90 days ago was a master move is today another stone in the backpack of the increasingly exhausted Joe and in the prestige of the still leading world power.
*** Andrés Ortiz Moyano is a journalist and writer.
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