It is in fashion on the left — and in many quarters of the right — to be myopically concentrated on all that is wrong with this country.
It’s an odd time to be down on the old Stars and Stripes, though. Over the last year, the United States has done more than any other nation to bring an end to the coronavirus pandemic. And when it does end, it will in fact be American ingenuity that does it.
The American coronavirus vaccines are not the only ones to have been created and mass-produced in less than a year, but they are by far the most effective products doing by far the most good around the world.
In China, the bumblingly mendacious Communist Party (CCP) lied about the novel coronavirus, allowing this disease to spread outside its borders and kill millions. Since committing its original sin, the CCP has been engaged in a cynical and incompetent campaign of coronavirus diplomacy. Recall that as early as last March, the Chinese were touting their ability to provide coronavirus tests; they turned out to be defective. Spain, which received 640,000 of them, demanded a full refund.
Then, the CCP developed and began distributing a pair of, if not outright defective, then at least notably less safe and less effective vaccines as compared with the American ones that have left the countries depending on them reeling.
This South American nation of 19 million, which secured enough potential coronavirus vaccine doses to inoculate its population twice over, leads the Western Hemisphere in vaccinations per capita. More than 7.5 million Chileans have received at least one dose, and 5 million are now fully vaccinated. Only Israel and Britain have performed better.
At the same time, new cases of COVID-19 are surging. The country has reported more than 7,000 daily cases nine times this month, outstripping its first-wave peak of 6,938 last July, and sounding an alarm for the United States and other countries that have raced out ahead on the vaccination curve.
Why? Because Chile has relied primarily upon the Chinese SinoVac vaccine, which is only 16 percent effective after a first dose and according to the Brazillian government, 50 percent effective after a second. Compare these figures to those for the United States’ Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson vaccines. The first two, which are two-dose programs, both provide better protection after one dose than SinoVac does after one, and ramp up to over 90 percent effective after a second. Johnson and Johnson, which is designed as a one-and-done solution, is also substantially more protective than SinoVac.
The other Chinese vaccine, Sinopharm, is falling short of the high standards set by the American ones as well. It has been the most-used vaccine in Seychelles, a small African archipelago that also happens to be the most-vaccinated nation in the world. And yet, Seychelles has reinstated social-distancing restrictions as its caseload has skyrocketed in recent days. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization has raised questions about Sinopharm’s safety:
“We have very low confidence in the quality of evidence that the risk of serious adverse events following one or two doses of BBIBP-CorV in older adults (≥60 years) is low,” it [a WHO report on Sinopharm’s safety data] said.
“We have very low confidence in the quality of evidence that the risk of serious adverse events in individuals with comorbidities or health states that increase risk for severe COVID-19 following one or two doses of BBIBP-CorV is low,” it added.
The day-to-day melodrama of partisan politics keeps us from enjoying too many ra-ra, “U-S-A!” patriotic moments these days, but we would be remiss not to take note of America’s singularly important role in ending a crisis caused by our chief geopolitical rival.