Coronavirus — China Allegedly Pressured WHO to Delay Warning

  • The accusation, released by the German magazine Der Speigel, is part of a report by the Federal Intelligence Service of Germany (BND).
  • In reaction, the WHO issued a statement declaring that the publication’s claims are “unfounded and untrue.”
  • The Trump administration alleged the WHO was becoming a tool of "Chinese propaganda," moved to halt funding of the organization.

Chinese President Xi Jinping allegedly pressured the World Health Organization (WHO) to postpone the global alert for Covid-19, asking its President, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, to withhold information on human-to-human transmission and postpone a pandemic alert. The WHO, in a quick rejoinder, has said that the charges are “unfounded and untrue.”

Der Spiegel (“The Mirror”) is a centre-left German weekly news magazine published in Hamburg. With a weekly circulation of 840,000 copies, it is the largest such publication in Europe.

The accusation, released by the German magazine Der Speigel, is part of a report by the Federal Intelligence Service of Germany (BND) that estimates that China could have lost four to six weeks of fighting the virus by not disclosing information about the possible pandemic. As per the BND:

On January 21, China’s leader Xi Jinping asked WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to hold back information about a human-to-human transmission and to delay a pandemic warning. The BND estimates that China’s information policy lost four to six weeks to fight the virus worldwide.”

In reaction, the WHO issued a statement declaring that the publication’s claims are “unfounded and untrue.” The statement reads,

“Der Spiegel reports of a 21 January, 2020, telephone conversation between WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and President Xi Jingping of China are unfounded and untrue. Dr Tedros and President Xi did not speak on 21 January and they have never spoken by telephone. Such inaccurate reports distract and detract from WHO’s and the world’s efforts to end the COVID-19 pandemic. To note: China confirmed human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus on 20 January.”

The WHO publicly declared on January 22 that “data collected . . . suggests that human-to-human transmission is taking place in Wuhan.” If the claims turn out to be true, they would bolster U.S. President Donald Trump’s earlier assertions that the WHO is, after all, a Chinese puppet.  Back in April, the Trump administration alleged the WHO was becoming a tool of “Chinese propaganda,” and President Trump moved to halt funding of the organization by the US

The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that is concerned with international public health. It was established on 7 April 1948, and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. The WHO is a member of the United Nations Development Group. Its predecessor, the Health Organization, was an agency of the League of Nations.

According to Der Speigel, the same BND held a secret services meeting, known as “Five Eyes” last week, in which its US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand counterparts participated. In this meeting, the Americans asked about possible creation of Covid-19 in a laboratory by China.

The same theory had already been made public by the American Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, after a supposed 15-page document that accuses the Chinese authorities of covering up the attack on international transparency. However, according to the same BND, this document may be false, and it may not even exist.

Last weekend, Pompeo said that he saw “overwhelming evidence” that Covid-19 was created in the laboratory, but later backed off these statements. According to the confidential dossier, quoted by Der Spiegel, Trump even tried to use this theory to “distract people from their own mistakes and direct Americans’ anger towards China.”

Experts believe that the Sars-CoV-2 virus is likely to have been transmitted to humans from an animal, owing to the wildlife meat for consumption trade that goes on in China. Coincidence or not, China promptly created a law that prohibits this type of trade.

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Vincent Ferdinand

News reporting is my thing. My view of what is happening in our world is colored by my love of history and how the past influences events taking place in the present time.  I like reading politics and writing articles. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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