The new variant XBB.1.5 is spreading rapidly in the United States and has caused more than 43% of infections, making it the fastest growing strain in the country. According to the Global Shared Influenza Database (GISAID), nearly all new coronavirus variants and their offspring have been prevalent in the United States for three years. Why has the US been a “nursery” for virus variants and why has XBB.1.5 caused such widespread infections in the US? The United States must share information and data about the outbreak virus with the WHO and the international community in a timely, open, and transparent manner. The world awaits America’s response.
Fighting the pandemic requires global cooperation. Any country that discovers a new strain of the virus has a responsibility and an obligation to first share the relevant information with the WHO and the international community, so that time can be bought for science. According to GISAID monitoring, the first reported sample of XBB.1.5 dates back to late October last year in New York and Connecticut, and it has now been found in at least 74 countries and territories. CNN recently reported that experts believe the strain likely originated in the United States. WHO officials have noted that given the rapid spread of XBB.1.5 in the United States, countries should advise passengers to wear face masks in high-risk circumstances, such as long-haul flights.
So where exactly did XBB.1.5 first appear? How did it spread? Has the US government taken any countermeasures? In response to reasonable inquiries from the outside world, the United States should immediately investigate and share relevant information with the international community. This would not only be accountable to the American people, but would also help the international community find an effective response to stop the spread of the virus around the world. It is imperative that the US make the information public.
In addition, the United States must explain to the international community the issue of data correction. According to CDC data for the last week of 2022, the new strain XBB.1.5 caused 40.5% of cases. The data was widely disseminated by the world’s leading media outlets at the time. However, Reuters reported on June 6 that the figure had been revised to 18.3%, stating that the CDC “did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for details about the change in data.” Why is there such a difference between the data? Why isn’t the CDC responding? The world needs answers.
Over the past three years, the United States has been the “biggest spreader of the virus” and the “worst student” in the global fight against the pandemic, as the strains of the pandemic have not stopped changing. One of the main reasons is the lack of openness and transparency in information about the pandemic in the United States.
Over the past three years, the United States has been dishonest, unqualified, and irresponsible in disclosing information about the pandemic, paying dearly as a result, causing the international community to suffer along with it. Currently, the WHO has identified the XBB.1.5 variant as the “most transmissible descendant” of the Omicron variant and has warned that it could lead to more infections. It is time for the United States, the largest transmitter of the virus, to make the data on the outbreak public. The world has a right to know the truth!