The e-mail from a man named Jeffrey Frank Cohen was short and painful to read. Responding to my column urging Americans to set aside the blame game until we achieve victory over the coronavirus, Cohen wrote this: “Can I at least blame the Chicoms for this mess? It killed my brother-in-law, a friend of 43 years of age with 5 children, and put two of my kids out of work.”

By all means, blame away. You are not alone.

Cohen’s letter offers a reminder that the pandemic sweeping the globe could have been stopped at its source. Instead, the Chinese Communist Party suppressed the truth, destroyed evidence and lied to the world.

It’s still lying, including about its own death totals. The official count in the country of 1.4 billion people is that just 3,322 died, but dissident groups and others within China say the actual fatalities are monstrously higher.

The Washington Post, citing reports of tens of thousands of urns being delivered to funeral parlors, of cremation units working 24 hours a day, and of long lines of people waiting to pick up their loved ones’ ashes, suggested that the virus killed between 42,000 and 48,000 in China.

It’s not surprising, then, that its Communist Party lies to the world. If it’s willing to lie to its own citizens about how many the virus killed, why would we ever assume it would tell us the truth?

The dying started in China, but did not stop there. Every death from the coronavirus has its roots there.

The count is staggering: More than 81,000 dead around the world as of Tuesday afternoon, with over 12,000 of those in America.

Which brings us to another continuing lie — the ultimate source of the outbreak. Although Chinese scientists tracked the initial cluster of cases to a food market in Wuhan in December, the country’s leaders “disappeared” some of those scientists and tried to wiggle out of any responsibility.

Starting in February and expanding in March, top officials and government media began blaming US military personnel for bringing the disease to China. It is a preposterous claim, but the goal seems to have been simply to create an alternative to the truth and thereby cause doubts about responsibility.

That’s the brazen plan — stack lie upon lie in the hopes that one will stick. Meanwhile, the clumsy effort itself has helped to fuel speculation that the virus might have leaked from a government virology lab not far from the Wuhan market.

Sen. Tom Cotton, Republican of Arkansas, has said repeatedly the idea cannot be ruled out, and numerous British officials reportedly share that opinion.

Whatever the final verdict, if there is any common sense and courage left in American politics, neither party will forget or excuse the havoc and death China has unleashed on our country and the world. It doesn’t mean we must shun them, only that we must never again fool ourselves into thinking our countries operate from a shared value system.

Ronald Reagan’s famous formula for dealing with the Soviet Union, “trust but verify,” applies tenfold here. With China, nothing, nothing, nothing should be taken at face value.

It corrupts everything it touches, including the World Health Organization, which helped delay the truth about the outbreak. A January 14 tweet by the UN organization said Chinese “officials found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission,” which we now know was false.

Yet two weeks later, the head of WHO visited China and praised President Xi Jinping for his swift reaction.

President Trump, who has been saying nice things about WHO recently, abruptly changed his tune Tuesday, tweeting that the agency “really blew it. For some reason, funded largely by the United States, yet very China centric. We will be giving that a good look.” He also threatened to withhold funds and questioned why the agency recommended against closing international borders in late January.

Thankfully, he rejected that advice and restricted arrivals from China starting Jan. 31.

Tellingly, many of the same American media figures who gullibly accepted China’s claims about its low death totals are now working feverishly to create a narrative that Trump failed to keep America safe from the virus. Their hatred of Trump is blinding them to the larger truth that he was way ahead of the curve in long ago citing China as a threat to America’s well-being.

His 2016 campaign focus on lopsided trade deals signed by his predecessors and the unchecked theft of American technology and intellectual property by China were derided as racist by some and as impossible to fix by others.

Yet even as has delivered on improved agreements, it becomes more and more clear that the scope of the China problem remains enormous. Its aggressive military expansion, territorial ambitions and its campaign of bribery and influence around the world reveal its ultimate aim of global dominance.

China has grown so bold that its leaders talk openly of having the yuan replace the American dollar as the international system’s reserve currency. Even more troubling in the short term, a publication controlled by the Communist Party threatened to impose pharmaceutical export controls it said would plunge America “into the mighty sea of coronavirus.”

It’s not a fanciful threat. Many of the generic drugs on our store shelves are manufactured in China, and many ingredients are sourced there.

This is a potential nightmare, an element of which is playing out around the world and before our eyes. The coronavirus hell should be the last wake-up call America needs about China. Ever.

Classic Navy SNAFools

Wikipedia says the acronym “snafu” (Situation Normal, All ­F–ked Up) likely originated in the US Marine Corps during World War II. Wherever it started, it perfectly describes the lunacy surrounding the USS Theodore Roosevelt. The captain widely circulates a letter detailing numerous coronavirus cases, the acting Navy secretary fires the captain and bad-mouths him to his crew, then is forced to resign himself.

This, I submit, is a world-class SNAFU.

Media bias 101

Loaded headline of the day: “Trump names loyalist as press secretary

So, he should have picked Jim Acosta?

Off-key ‘pitch’

The oddest pitch comes from the Democratic Attorneys General Association. Its e-mail starts with a confession: “Earlier this year we interviewed some incredible activists from around the country to ask them about their state Attorneys General. But almost NO ONE knew who their state AG was, or even really what state AGs do!”

Of course, the answer is money — your money. Donate and, if nothing else, you’ll definitely learn who your Attorney General is because he or she will be back asking for more.

Source: nypost.com/feed