Millions of people around the world have wondered how WHO could deceive Beijing so much in the early days of the January outbreak, when the organization spread lies about the virus and praised Beijing as a “model” for responding to a pandemic. Previous reports Associated Press and other Western media organizations expose how Beijing hid critical information about the virus for several days (including evidence of the spread of the virus from person to person), while China absorbed all personal protective equipment and other important medical materials.
On Tuesday, when the U.S. is recovering from a long weekend of violence and unrest, the AP released a new report based on the details of an internal call, which was not previously reported, where WHO leaders discussed what to do with China’s abstinence, for fear of restarting SARS. The record shows that Beijing did not immediately cooperate with WHO, as previously stated by WHO, but instead pulled out its legs, much to the dismay of several senior officials from a non-governmental organization affiliated with the UN.
The CCP not only deliberately concealed important information about the Wuhan outbreak (identity and other data related to the patient), but Beijing also held the map of the virus genome for about a week after the researchers finished mapping, among other violations (remember, when WHO praised China’s decision to quickly map and share the virus genome as irrefutable evidence that Beijing cares about responsibility?)
When China finally transmitted the information to WHO, they apparently did so only because a group of Chinese researchers shared the information with another third party.
During January, the World Health Organization publicly praised China for what it called a quick response to the new coronavirus. He repeatedly thanked the Chinese government for “immediately” sharing the genetic map of the virus, and said that its work and commitment to transparency were “very impressive and wordless.”
But backstage, it was a completely different story, one of China’s significant delays and significant disappointment among WHO officials. The Associated Press found that without receiving the information they needed to combat the spread of the deadly virus.
Despite the praise China has actually been producing a genetic map or virus genome for more than a week after three different government laboratories have fully decrypted the information. Tough measures to control information and competition in China’s public health system were to blame, according to dozens of interviews and internal documents.
Chinese government laboratories released the genome only after another laboratory released it to officials on the virologist website on January 11th. Even then, China slowed down for at least another two weeks to provide WHO with detailed data on patients and cases, according to records of internal meetings held by the UN health agency during January – all at a time when the outbreak might have be significantly slowed down
In fact, the WHO congratulatory approach in the early days of the outbreak was part of a strategy to get more information from the government in Beijing.While recording a conversation, US staff at WHO (the likely source of these leaks) complained that Beijing was giving them information “15 minutes before he appears on CCTV.”
WHO officials suggest that WHO officials publicly praised China because they wanted more information from the government. In private, they complained at meetings on the week of January 6 that China is not exchanging enough data to evaluate how effectively the virus spreads between people or what risk it poses to the rest of the world, costing valuable time.
“We collect very minimal information” said US epidemiologist Maria Van Kerchow, now WHO technical director for COVID-19, at one internal meeting. “It’s obviously not enough for you to plan correctly.”
“At present, we are at a stage where, yes, they give it to us 15 minutes before it appears on television,” said Dr. Gauden Galea, senior representative of China in China, referring to China’s State Central Television in another meeting .
The story of an early response to the virus comes at a time when the US health agency is under siege and agreed to conduct an independent investigation into how the pandemic was handled globally. After repeatedly admiring China’s early response, US President Donald Trump has been scolding WHO in recent weeks for allegedly conspiring with China to conceal the scope of the coronavirus crisis. On Friday, he broke ties with the organization, jeopardizing the estimated $ 450 million that the United States allocates each year as WHO’s largest single donor.
Perhaps the most interesting segment of AR reporting occurred two seconds before the agency apparently rejected the fact that China’s prescription drugs in the early days of the virus violated international law (this is normal because WHO does not have enforcement powers).
At some point, the AP insisted on nothing that the leaked transcript does not support “neither the US nor China,” but simply offers a picture of an organization that is in turmoil. For some reason, we doubt that this refusal will discourage Trump and the Chinese “hawks” in his administration from citing the report as just the latest evidence to justify their suspicions about Beijing.
The new information does not support the narrative of the United States or China, but instead depicts an agency that is now stuck in a center that is urgently trying to get more data, despite the limitations of its own authority. Although international law requires countries to provide WHO with information that may affect public health, the US agency does not have law enforcement authority and cannot independently investigate epidemics in countries. Instead, it should rely on the cooperation of Member States.
WHO staff members discussed how to click on China to obtain gene sequences and detailed patient data without causing anger to authorities, fearing loss of access and problems with Chinese scientists. In accordance with international law, WHO is obliged to quickly exchange information and warnings with member countries about an emerging crisis. Galea noted that WHO cannot indulge China’s desire to sign information before telling other countries because “it does not meet our responsibilities.”
In the end, although we can’t have any direct evidence that the new coronavirus leaked from the Wuhan Biolaboratory, it’s now quite clear that Beijing lied and people died, and WHO has not fulfilled its mission to protect the public health of the most vulnerable countries.