(TibetanReview.net, Jul04’20) – After praising China to no end for its supposed readiness to share information, transparency and cooperativeness, the World Health Organization (WHO) has finally found the voice to indicate it was its own office in the country, not China, which first alerted it to the viral infection that broke out there late last year and soon became a global pandemic that has now infected more than 11 million and killed more than .525 million people.
The UN health body has been accused of acting as a public relations office for China on the Covid-19 pandemic issue, compelling its main financier, the United States, to suspend its funding. China had not only suppressed information about the outbreak but also punished whistleblowers and censored all online information about it, thereby unleashing the pandemic across the world.
But the WHO not only downplayed the threat but also tried to cover it up for China, thereby delaying the global response.
On Apr 9, WHO published an initial timeline of its communications, partly in response to criticism of its early response to the outbreak. In that chronology, WHO had said that the Wuhan municipal health commission in the province of Hubei had on Dec 31 reported cases of pneumonia.
But a new chronology, published this week, indicates that it was the WHO office in China that on Dec 31 notified its regional point of contact of a case of “viral pneumonia” after having found a declaration for the media on a Wuhan health commission website on the issue.
The same day, WHO’s epidemic information service picked up another news report transmitted by the international epidemiological surveillance network ProMed – based in the United States – about the same group of cases of pneumonia from unknown causes in Wuhan.
It was only after these developments that the WHO asked the Chinese authorities on two occasions, on Jan 1 and Jan 2, for information about these cases, which they provided on Jan 3, noted the AFP Jul 4.