As the coronavirus pandemic spreads across the United States, President Donald Trump has suddenly dropped his belligerent language against China. He has stopped mentioning the “Chinese virus” and even lauded cooperation. “I just wanted to make that point, because they’re blaming China, people are blaming China,” he said. Now we know why. Americans are running out of face masks but China has ample supply. According to The New York Times , “the lack of proper masks, gowns and eye gear is imperilling the ability of frontline medical workers to fight the disease”, and to protect themselves. But in its months-long fight, China has become the world’s largest producer of protective gear. And to bolster its international image and to counter harsh criticism, Beijing has been sending, or is about to send, medical gear to Italy, South Korea, the Philippines, Japan, Iraq, Iran, Peru and Spain. Trump changes tune, drops ‘Chinese virus’ phrase and lauds cooperation But while their boss may not be too proud to ask, some senior US officials are sticking to their guns. “If China or any other country has some masks, gloves or other products we need for the American people, we welcome that with open arms,” said Peter Navarro, a trade official and mega anti-China hawk. “What we don’t need is some kind of propaganda exercise during a crisis that the actions of the Chinese Communist Party have made far more serious than it otherwise would have been.” And the obligatory lies of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who “has accused China of allowing infected citizens to spread the disease around the world”, reported the Times . “This is not about retribution,” he said. “We need to make sure that even today the data sets that are available to every country, including data sets that are available to the Chinese Communist Party, are made available to the whole world. It’s an imperative to keep people safe.” It’s hard to know what missing or suppressed data sets he is referring to. Thousands of mainland infectious disease specialists, epidemiologists and virologists have worked together to publish up-to-date reports and analyses, since January. Far from exhaustive, I counted only those published in three of the world’s most respected medical journals: two in the New England Journal of Medicine ; 12 in The Lancet ; and three in the Journal of the American Medical Association . And yes, Mr Pompeo, those are technical data sets, not funny “medical” reports you get on Fox News. Purchase the China AI Report 2020 brought to you by SCMP Research and enjoy a 20% discount (original price US$400). This 60-page all new intelligence report gives you first-hand insights and analysis into the latest industry developments and intelligence about China AI. Get exclusive access to our webinars for continuous learning, and interact with China AI executives in live Q&A. Offer valid until 31 March 2020.