Wang Guan: Talking about the Delta variant of COVID-19, it is fast spreading from Oceania, to Americas, from Asia, to Europe. How do you see this variant impacting our social and economic life, and perhaps even in the longer run, geopolitics?
Yury Tavrovsky: I think this COVID-19 is here to stay for many years with many variants. No country is safe, and no great wall is impenetrable. Those who politicized the problem, instead of joining hands in helping their own people and people of the third world are criminals.
But let's face it. The coronavirus has become one more geopolitical division line between west and east. The vaccine war will continue. World connectivity will suffer. International trade and tourism will suffer. Humanitarian contacts will be severed.
Wang Guan: You once said that the political virus caused by COVID-19 ideological prejudice and double standards is more dangerous than COVID-19 itself. Do you see the things are getting worse with the spreading of the Delta variant and also the continuous development of China and rise of China？
Yury Tavrovsky: The Delta variant is spreading. China suffers and Russia suffers. But still, I think that both "political virus" and the virus itself are equally harmful, are equally important. And I don't know actually what should be done. But Moscow and Beijing could do more, much more to stop the Delta variant. I think our scientists are the best in the world. And we need more cooperation. And also in the mass media domain, in international politics domain, we also could and should be more active and help each other.
Wang Guan: How do you look at this new investigation into the origin of COVID-19, particularly probing a potential lab-leak theory that was pursued by the Biden administration in the United States. And right now, the U.S. is obviously pressuring international organizations such as the WHO to do the same. Why is it now and why is it happening?
Yury Tavrovsky: I think it is a sort of counterattack to Chinese success of this year, I mean the 100th anniversary of the CPC, and this medium-affluent society, and doubling of GDP, and in general, Chinese success in controlling the virus. The Biden administration now continues President Trump's administration's cold war against China. And this Delta variant hysteria is one front of this cold war.
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