According to the Associated Press, Chinese authorities sat on information concerning the genome of the virus for weeks, allowing it to spread worldwide and become a pandemic. The World Health Organisation praised China in order to get it to release more information.
Beijing (AsiaNews) – The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Chinese government, most notably WHO director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and Chinese president Xi Jinping, have lied to the international community:
According to the Associated Press (AP), backed by WHO recordings and emails, China did not share crucial information about the virus and its spread, whilst the WHO, aware of China’s silence, failed to voice its concern and instead praised Beijing for its response to the pandemic
AP noted first and foremost that China’s health authorities had sat for weeks on the virus’s genetic map or genome. Strict controls on information and competition within the Chinese public health system were largely to blame.
AP also found that Chinese health officials only released the genome after a Chinese lab published it ahead of authorities on a virology website on 11 January. Even then, China stalled for at least two weeks more at a time when the virus was spreading around the world.
According to a study by the University of Southampton, cited by Card Charles Bo in an angry statement against the Chinese Communist Party, "if China had acted responsibly one, two or three weeks earlier, the number of people infected with the virus would have been 66%, 86% and 95% lower respectively."
At the WHO Assembly last month, Xi Jinping defended himself and his country by claiming that they had “acted with openness, transparency and responsibility” and “provided information to WHO and relevant countries in a most timely fashion”.
AP’s revelations come at a time of a power struggle between the UN agency and US President Donald Trump who decided to cut funding for the agency (US0 million) accusing it of being too closely aligned with China.
According to WHO officials, cited by AP, the UN agency tried to woo Beijing in order to get it to release all the data it had. This happened, but perhaps too late.