There's little question that national leaders everywhere are on edge, and with good reason. The Covid-19 pandemic has upended life for the mighty and the weak, rich and poor. Even those with access to the finest medical care have not been spared. In the United States, for instance, the casualties have included singer Trini Lopez and former Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain, who was hospitalised less than two weeks after attending President Donald Trump's June 20 campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Tony Award-nominated Nick Cordero was only 41 when he died of complications from the virus. The list is long, and lengthening. US cases have now breached the seven million mark, a record.
It is against this backdrop that Mr Trump, trailing in the polls against Democratic presidential challenger Joe Biden, delivered his most recent anti-China comments. At the annual session of the United Nations General Assembly, he returned to his "China virus" theme and called for China to be held accountable for the Covid-19 plague affecting the world. Not surprisingly, China responded strongly. Speaking in English to avoid any ambiguity, its UN ambassador Zhang Jun shot back that "enough is enough". He said the US had created enough problems for the world and reminded it that even with the most advanced medical technologies, it still had the most casualties and fatalities, and that if anyone is to be accountable, it should be a few US politicians themselves.