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BEIJING, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- The United States has witnessed multiple nightmares in 2021, with everything from the U.S. Capitol riot to a catastrophic response to the COVID-19 pandemic and from the debacle in Afghanistan to surging gun violence across the country.
Risks and chaos bred in different fields of the country show no sign of abating and may well spill over to impact other countries, further dampening the world's recovery from the pandemic in 2022.
The fast-spreading novel coronavirus continues to impact nearly every aspect of the United States, the country worst hit by the pandemic, with the world's largest caseload and highest death toll, due to the country's governance plight.
According to Johns Hopkins University, the total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States topped 64.8 million on Saturday. Just days before, the country had shattered a single-day record with nearly 1.5 million infections.
While Democrats and Republicans are moving even further apart on the country's response to the pandemic, Americans are grappling with the Omicron variant, as well as spiraling inflation and violent crime.
The New York Times reported that the pandemic is indeed eroding the trust the American public has placed in their government, adding that the deadly pandemic has proved to be a nearly two-year "stress test that the United States flunked."
Gun violence is another instance of the U.S. government's failure. In 2021, a total of 44,750 people died from gun crimes in the United States. A dismal reality is that Americans mourn for the victims after each mass shooting, while the country is still mired in a long debate over gun control.
While U.S. President Joe Biden has used various opportunities to call for unity, division runs deep through U.S. politics. U.S. media, such as The Washington Post, are deeply concerned about the polarization of American society, with some even asking whether the United States could experience a "second civil war."
During the pandemic, protests against medical experts' advice and anti-epidemic measures took place frequently; the country became fragmented and polarized. As a result of politicization in U.S. politics, extreme and radical sentiments were fostered and spread, fueling violent activities.
UNCERTAIN ECONOMIC PROSPECTS
The U.S. economy faces more uncertainty looming large over the global recovery in 2022, as the Omicron-fueled pandemic has reflected the country's vulnerability.
According to the American Bankers Association's economic advisory committee, U.S. economic growth is expected to slow from an inflation-adjusted 5.5 percent in 2021 to 3.3 percent in 2022.
The vulnerability of the U.S. economy was also fully exposed when its consumer price index jumped 7 percent last year, the fastest pace since 1982, according to the country's labor department.
The rapid spread of the Omicron variant has imposed further risks on the American employment market, causing supply-chain disruptions and adding uncertainty to the country's economy, according to Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.
To stimulate its economy, the United States has introduced a series of easy monetary policies last year, driving prices to grow in the country and exporting inflation risks across the world.
Accordingly, Powell has declared that the U.S. economy is in need of a tighter monetary policy.
However, a shift from easing towards a tight policy in the United States could have a more negative impact on global equity markets than expected, said Tsuyoshi Ueno, a senior economist with the NLI Research Institute of Japan.
The botched pull-out of the U.S. military in Afghanistan in 2021 is fresh proof of how the United States is inciting chaos in the name of protecting world peace and stability.
Over the past years, the United States has sought to maintain its hegemony by forging cliques and fanning confrontation around the world. It has abused its national strength to curb other countries' economic, scientific and technological development through sanctions and bullying.
In May 2021, media reported that the United States has spied on targeted heads of state, top politicians, and high-ranking officials in Germany, France and other European countries for a long time.
It was not the first time for Washington to carry out such large-scale cyber surveillance and cyber attacks on other countries, which has become the biggest threat to global cyber security.
In December 2021, the Biden administration announced a new space strategy, claiming a response to so-called "space threats," which has raised widespread concerns about its intention of building hegemony in space.
With a notorious record of provoking conflicts and hindering cooperation, the United States, looking ahead, poses one of the gravest threats to world peace and stability in 2022. Endtiem
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