Over the weekend, in a historic first for his term in the White House, President Joe Biden flew to Bali, Indonesia, to meet face-to-face with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
According to a White House readout of the meeting, the two world superpower leaders broached a wide range of topics, including white-hot geopolitical issues like Taiwan, Russia’s nuclear threats and competitive trade.
Today, I met with President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China.
We discussed our responsibility to prevent the competition between our countries from veering into conflict and finding ways to work together on shared challenges that affect the international community. pic.twitter.com/ufneHdcyCF
But social media users quickly noted that there was a glaring omission of what’s easily the most important topic of all — the COVID-19 pandemic. You know, the thing that wiped out millions of people worldwide. That seems important, no?
It seems like the pandemic would be at or near the top of the priority list for such a meeting, at least worthy of a mention. Social media users tore into Biden’s White House for not bringing up the pandemic once, which is especially angering given that it changed our way of life on a global scale in the course of two years.
“Remarkable. Not one mention of coronavirus in Xi and Biden’s opening remarks at their first in-person meeting in five years,” Breitbart White House correspondent Charlie Spiering tweeted.
Remarkable. Not one mention of coronavirus in Xi and Biden’s opening remarks at their first in-person meeting in five years.
Many, including members of Congress, believe China — specifically a Wuhan laboratory — is the origin of COVID-19, known as the “lab leak theory.” A Republican Senate report on the pandemic earlier this year concluded that the lab leak theory is most likely the origin of the pandemic, The Washington Post recently reported.
While the Chinese lab leak theory is still being debated and investigated, and probably will be for years to come, it would have been nice for the U.S. president to mention something about COVID-19, given its impact on the United States and especially China, where conditions were so harsh in some of its cities those living there faced a total nightmare.
Some pundits on Twitter went down the conspiracy route, suggesting that the reason Biden failed to mention the pandemic was that it “helped to get him elected,” which was presumably a reference to the rise of mail-in ballot voting procedures in several U.S. states during an election year that was heavily favored toward Democrats.
“Biden doesn’t give a s*** where COVID came from. Because it helped to get him elected. If anything, he’s grateful for its existence and probably thanking Xi behind closed doors,” the pundit tweeted.
Instead of the pandemic or a range of other important topics, the two discussed climate change, according to the readout. It was probably an awkward topic for Xi since we know that China isn’t exactly known for its clean air initiatives and contributions to warding off what Democrats believe to be an existential threat to mankind.
“President Biden underscored that the United States and China must work together to address transnational challenges — such as climate change, global macroeconomic stability including debt relief, health security, and global food security — because that is what the international community expects,” the meeting summary noted.
There was also no mention of the controversy surrounding the Uyghurs in the north-western region of Xinjiang. As the BBC reported, China has been accused of genocide against the Turkish ethnic group.
It seems crystal clear at this point that the Biden administration is absolutely terrified of bringing up the COVID-19 pandemic or any other sensitive subject with the Chinese. That will probably not change anytime soon.
Americans will have to wait until a Republican president with a backbone — hopefully in 2024 — is elected before we have someone in charge who isn’t afraid of asking the tough questions and who doesn’t have questionable family ties to the communist nation.