by Peter Hasson
China pressured the World Health Organization (WHO) against declaring the coronavirus pandemic a global health emergency, a senior U.S. intelligence official told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
That official’s account confirms aspects of Newsweek’s reporting, which cited a CIA report stating that China urged the WHO not to declare the pandemic a global health emergency.
The WHO, the health arm of the United Nations, was supposed to decide on Jan. 22 whether to declare a global health emergency, but WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus ended up delaying the decision until the next day.
In his statement announcing the delay, Tedros praised “the cooperation of China’s Minister of Health, who I have spoken with directly during the last few days and weeks.”
“The decision about whether or not to declare a public health emergency of international concern is one I take extremely seriously, and one I am only prepared to make with appropriate consideration of all the evidence,” Tedros added.
The next day, the WHO opted not to declare a global health emergency. “I am not declaring a public health emergency of international concern today,” Tedros, who won his position in 2017 with China’s backing, said on Jan. 23.
“As it was yesterday, the Emergency Committee was divided over whether the outbreak of novel coronavirus represents a PHEIC or not,” he continued. “Make no mistake. This is an emergency in China, but it has not yet become a global health emergency. It may yet become one.”
The WHO didn’t declare a global health emergency until Jan. 31.
Under Tedros’s leadership, the WHO’s rhetoric on the coronavirus has consistently aligned with Chinese propaganda on the subject.
Despite the fact that China worked to cover up the virus’s severity, WHO officials repeatedly went out of their way to praise China’s “transparency.”
A May 1 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report obtained by the Associated Press said that Chinese authorities downplayed the virus’s severity in part so China could get a head start in stockpiling medical supplies from around the world.
The WHO for weeks echoed misleading Chinese claims about the possibility of human-to-human transmission of the virus. A top WHO official later said that she suspected “right from the start,” on Dec. 31, that the virus was transmitting between people.
The WHO also took an adamant stand against President Donald Trump referring to the coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China, as the “Wuhan coronavirus.”
The WHO claimed that identifying the virus that way amounted to scapegoating, even though historically that’s how such diseases have been identified. (Lyme Disease, for example, is named after Lyme, Connecticut.)
The majority view among the U.S. intelligence community agencies is that coronavirus is a naturally occurring virus that accidentally leaked out of a Wuahn laboratory, a senior intelligence official previously told the DCNF.
China meanwhile has shut out other countries and the WHO from its investigation into the coronavirus’s origins.
The WHO didn’t return multiple requests for comment from the DCNF for this story.
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Peter Hasson is a reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “World Health Organization” by Yann Forget. CC BY-SA 4.0.