The U.S. is needlessly whipping up panic over the Novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV, China's government said today. Guess someone's a little sensitive this week, with Monday's stock market crash in China — and an uncontrolled lethal disease outbreak.
China accused the United States of spreading fear by pulling its nationals out and restricting travel instead of offering significant aid. Relations between the two sides had just begun to recover after a long and bruising trade war.
Washington has "unceasingly manufactured and spread panic", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters, noting that the WHO had advised against trade and travel curbs.
"It is precisely developed countries like the United States with strong epidemic prevention capabilities and facilities that have taken the lead in imposing excessive restrictions contrary to WHO recommendations," she added, saying countries should make reasonable, calm and science-based judgments.
No immediate official comment from the United States, but I'm sure as soon as old Trump hears about this tonight on Fox News, the tweets will spread faster than— ugh, everything is terrible, nevermind.
There are differing opinions among public health professionals about whether travel bans do anything to help, however.
Speaking in Geneva today, the WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus again said travel bans were not helping.
"There is no reason for measures that unnecessarily interfere with international travel and trade," he told the WHO's Executive Board.
"We call on all countries to implement decisions that are evidence-based and consistent."
Chinese delegate Li Song said the international community should treat the outbreak objectively and not "deliberately create panic" among the general public.