Background Briefing: May 11, 2020
Will Americans Fall for Trump’s Distraction of a New Cold War With China?
We begin with the new Cold War Trump is ginning up against China as a way to distract from his disastrous handling of the pandemic now that the U.S. has suffered a third of all the world’s Covid cases and over a quarter of deaths worldwide. Stephen Wertheim, an historian of the United States in the world who is Deputy Director of Research and Policy at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft which he co-founded, joins us to discuss his article at The New York Times, “Can the Democrats Avoid Trump’s China Trap? The president wants a new cold war to deflect attention from his failures.” We discuss the motives behind the president and his Secretary of State’s continued spreading of the conspiracy theory invented by Trump’s biggest cheerleader in congress, the clown Matt Gaetz, that the Wuhan Institute of Virology either accidentally let the coronavirus loose or deliberately used it as a bioweapon. And with Trump’s campaign and the largest pro-Trump PAC already calling Joe Biden “Beijing Biden,” it is clear they are laying a trap for Biden to either defend China or bash it harder than Trump is. Either way suits the president as he stokes racist hatred against China without distinguishing between its Communist government which deserves criticism and the Chinese people who he holds responsible for what he insists on calling the “Chinese virus”.