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Report: China pressured WHO into delaying coronavirus health emergency declaration

World Health Organization logo (Marco Verch Professional Photographer and Speaker/Flickr)
May 16, 2020

China pressured the World Health Organization (WHO) into delaying declaring the cornavirus global health emergency, according to a new report.

The Daily Caller News Foundation reports that a senior U.S. intelligence official allegedly confirmed a report from Newsweek that stated China urged the WHO not to declare the pandemic a global health emergency. The Newsweek report states that the CIA believes China was able to pressure the WHO into delaying the announcement in late January,

As the health arm of the United Nations, the WHO was supposed to decide if it was going to declare the coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency on Jan. 22, but WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus delayed the decision until Jan. 23, when it decided not to declare it a global health emergency.

“As it was yesterday, the Emergency Committee was divided over whether the outbreak of novel coronavirus represents a PHEIC or not,” Tedros said on Jan. 23. “Make no mistake. This is an emergency in China, but it has not yet become a global health emergency. It may yet become one.”

It took until Jan. 31 for the WHO to declare the coronavirus a global health emergency. At the time of reporting the coronavirus has infected 4.5 million people worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins latest tracking data.

WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier denied that the WHO was pressured from China, Newsweek reported.

“We don’t comment on specific discussions with member states but we can say that at all times during the pandemic WHO has acted in accordance with its mandate as an evidence-based technical organization focusing on protecting all people, everywhere,” Lindmeier said. “WHO bases its recommendations on science, public health best practices, evidence, data, and the advice of independent experts.”

“Dr. Tedros did not communicate with President Xi on Jan. 20, 21 or 22. Dr. Tedros and his senior team met with President Xi in Beijing on Jan. 28,” he added.

Notably, Tedros won his position with China’s backing in 2017.

The WHO has been at the center of criticism from President Donald Trump and others as it tries to help manage the pandemic. However, vocal critics of the WHO suggest the organization is kowtowing to China’s demands and has actively help spread its coronavirus-related propaganda.

Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, the WHO has repeated talking points similar to those employed by the Chinese government. At one point the WHO made the now-debunked claim that there was “no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission” of the coronavirus; a claim based on reporting from Chinese authorities.

The Daily Caller News Foundation reports that a top WHO official said on Dec. 31 that she suspected “right from the start,” that the virus was transmitted between people.

The WHO also took a stand against President Trump consistently calling it the “Wuhan virus,” referring to the virus’ origins, which were in Wuhan, China.