WHO denies report of pressure to withhold information

Director General of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaks during a news conference on the situation of the coronavirus, in Geneva Switzerland

Director General of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaks during a news conference on the situation of the coronavirus, in Geneva Switzerland

The UN agency said in a statement late on Saturday that a German magazine's report about a telephone conversation between World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and Chinese President Xi Jinping on January 21 was "unfounded and untrue".

According to the report, which was obtained by German newspaper Der Spiegel, Chinese President Xi Jinping asked WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom in January to suppress the truth about COVID-19.

Der Spiegel, citing sources within the German foreign intelligence service Bundes Nachrichtendienst (BND), claimed that the Chinese president had asked Tedros to "withhold information about person-to-person transmission and to delay a pandemic warning".

Unfortunately for the global community, Adhanom complied with China's request, according to the Taiwan News.

During the telephonic conversation, the Chinese President urged the World Health Organization chief to hold back information about human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus and to delay a pandemic warning, the report stated.

The WHO denied that the Chinese President and Dr. Tedros spoke over the phone on January 21 or any other day. Such inaccurate reports distract and detract from WHO's and the world's efforts to end #COVID-19.

Over 1800 COVID-19 patients have now recovered in British Columbia
We offer our condolences to the family, friends and caregivers of this individual, and to everyone who has lost their loved ones. One person died from COVID-19 during the last reporting period - a long-term care home patient - and the death toll is now 131.

"The WHO publicly declared on January 22 that "data collected ... suggests that human-to-human transmission is taking place in Wuhan".

"China confirmed human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus on 20th January 2020".

But a week after, the health agency took a turn saying human-to-human transmission is occurring in Wuhan, after the Chinese authorities presented epidemiological information that revealed an increase in the number of cases, of suspected cases, of affected provinces, and the proportion of deaths.

Director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has hailed China as an exemplar of how to handle an emergency despite widespread skepticism of the country's official coronavirus death toll. The Chinese foreign ministry said Beijing had responded in a "timely" manner and was "open and transparent" about alerting nations around the world about the outbreak.

An intelligence report prepared for German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer concluded that the US accusations were a deliberate attempt to divert public attention away from President Donald Trump's "own failures".

"The W.H.O. really blew it. We will be giving that a good look", he had tweeted.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.