Close to a year after the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, China, the World Health Organization has been unable, or unwilling, to either complete or successfully move forward with an investigation into the origin of the disease that has killed over 1 million people worldwide since the global pandemic began.
As early as February, WHO’s Emergency Director, Michael Ryan, said it was critical to understand the source of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. But according to a Nov. 3 report by The New York Times, the UN agency and its Director-General, Tedros Ghebreyesus, ignored the recommendations of its own emergency committee, and instead “negotiated terms that sidelined its own experts” amid an effort to prioritize a politically agreeable relationship with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
“If we don’t know the source then we’re equally vulnerable in the future to a similar outbreak,” said Director Ryan during a meeting in Geneva in February. “Understanding that source is a very important next step.”
After this meeting, WHO and Tedros ignored the advice of Ryan and his Committee, and instead “negotiated terms that sidelined its own experts,” the Times reported. “They would not question China’s initial response or even visit the live-animal market in the city of Wuhan where the outbreak seemed to have originated.”
On the surface, it would appear that the inquiry into the origin of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is making progress. However, while China recently approved a list of outside investigators, the WHO has agreed that critical aspects of the investigation, such as the first patients in China and the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan where the outbreak is thought to have started, will be led by Chinese scientists.
“Unfortunately, this has become a political investigation… Whatever they do is symbolic,” Wang Linfa, an Australian virologist residing in Singapore, told the Times.
Lawrence O. Gostin, a professor of global health law at Georgetown University, told the Times the investigation “was an absolute whitewash.”
The Times’ report comes on the back of a June investigation by the Associated Press that WHO officials had complained in private that “China was not sharing enough data to assess how effectively the virus spread between people or what risk it posed to the rest of the world, costing valuable time.”
Meanwhile, the organization continued to praise the CCP regime for sharing the
virus’ genetic map “immediately” and calling the Party’s work and transparency “very impressive and beyond words.”
According to AP: “Chinese government labs only released the genome after another lab published it ahead of authorities on a virologist website,” while the “delay in the release of the genome stalled the recognition of its spread to other countries, along with the global development of tests, drugs, and vaccines.”
A further example the AP report gave was of an internal notice by Chinese officials finding the virus “contagious through respiratory passages,” while the same day the WHO claimed there was “no evidence of significant transmission between humans.”
Despite all of this, Director-General Tedros has not only been completely unwilling to challenge the CCP or its leader Xi Jinping on the greatest health crisis the human race has faced in the last century. Instead, he boldly stated at the end of January: “We should have actually expressed our respect and gratitude to China for what it’s doing,” as well as: “It has already done incredible things to limit the transmission of the virus to other countries.”
The Times reported that American Ambassador Andrew Bremberg warned Tedros: “You’re risking your personal and organizational reputation,” about his decision to stand with the CCP, according to several Western diplomats.
Ali Mokdad, a professor at the Institute of Health and Metrics Evaluation at the University of Washington, told the AP: “It’s obvious that we could have saved more lives and avoided many, many deaths if China and the WHO had acted faster.”