Home Foreign WHO withheld crucial Covid-19 information for political reasons, Trump claims

WHO withheld crucial Covid-19 information for political reasons, Trump claims

by Monrose Murugi
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US President Donald Trump (Photo/Courtesy)

US President Donald Trump has accused the World Health Organization of failing to inform the world about the outbreak of coronavirus the first time they knew about it.

On Monday, Trump wrote a letter to WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom, accusing the organization of sharing inaccurate and misleading information about Covi-19. Trump said he would permanently freeze United States funding to WHO, if it does not make improvements in their operations and become independent from China in 30 days.

“The World Health Organization consistently ignored credible reports of the virus spreading in Wuhan in early December 2019 or even earlier, including reports from the Lancet medical journal. WHO failed to independently investigate credible reports that conflicted directly with the Chinese government’s official accounts, even those that came from sources within Wuhan itself,” Trump said.

According to Trump, WHO offices in Beijing had known there was a “major public health” concern in Wuhan by December 30 2019. Additionally, China’s media had highlighted evidence of a new virus emerging from Wuhan, based on patient data sent to multiple Chinese genomics companies. Moreover, Taiwanese authorities had communicated information to WHO indicating human to human transmission of a new virus.

“Yet the World Health Organization chose not to share any of this critical information with the rest of the world, probably for political reasons,” President Trump said.

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According the president, WHO failed to share correct information with the world and this led to numerous loss of lives.

“On January 14, 2020, WHO reaffirmed China’s now debunked claim that coronavirus could not be transmitted between human beings.

On January 21, 2020, President of China reportedly pressured you not to declare the coronavirus outbreak an emergency. You told the world that coronavirus did not pose a public health emergency of international concern. However, one week later overwhelming evidence forced WHO to reverse the course.

On January 28, 2020, WHO praised Chinese government for transparency in respect to Corona Virus yet it failed to mention that China had punished several doctors for speaking out about the virus and restricted Chinese institutions from publishing information about it,” the letter reads in part.

Additionally, Trump called out WHO for consistently praising China despite it remaining silent on the discrimination of Africans in their country. He said the previous WHO Director General, Harlem Brundtland, did better in responding to SARS.

He said Harlem responded fast to SARS outbreak in China by declaring WHO’s first travel advisory in 55 years, recommending against travel to and from the disease epicentre in Southern China. She also criticized China for endangering global health by attempting to cover up the outbreak “through it’s usual playbook of arresting whistle blowers and censoring media.”

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