Before the pandemic the United States began a global war on terrorism.
But it only shattered was the myth that a triumphant United States could bend the world to its will.
Yet that myth may be roaring back, in a more vicious guise. To deflect blame for the pandemic, the White House is now targeting a foreign power: China.
Just as the George W. Bush administration convinced a majority of Americans that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was involved in the 9/11 attacks, Trump officials are now making unsubstantiated accusations against Beijing over the coronavirus that may lead the U.S. public to blame China.
And that risks an unnecessary Cold War that the U.S. cannot afford.
(This video is adapted from an op-ed by Stephen Wertheim and Rachel Esplin Odell that appeared in the New York Times.)