The World Health Organization fired back Monday at a blockbuster report from Der Spiegel, revealing that WHO officials communicated with the Chinese government, and may have deliberately held back on giving other countries critical information about the spread of the novel coronavirus, which causes the deadly COVID-19, after being pressured by China and its president, Xi Jinping.
The shocking report, published over the weekend in Germany and translated for American audiences on Saturday, provides compelling evidence that Xi Jinping asked WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to “withhold information about human-to-human transition and delay the declaration of a global pandemic,” per the Daily Caller, which published selections of the report for American audiences.
The report says that BND, the German Federal Intelligence Service, discovered that “Xi met with WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on January 21” and asked the WHO to delay reporting accurate information about the novel coronavirus, including that the virus could be transmitted from human to human — something both China and the WHO denied in missives issued as late as mid-January.
Although the full report is available only in German, information from Taiwanese government, claiming that it warned the WHO in mid-December that it had found evidence of significant community spread of the virus, seems to back up allegations that the WHO sat on evidence of person-to-person transmission for at least four to six weeks, causing significant global delays in addressing the coronavirus pandemic and possibly costing thousands of lives.
“Researchers at the University of Southampton found that if China had acted and gone public with its information just three weeks sooner, it could have reduced spread of the disease by as much as 95%,” the Daily Caller points out.
On Monday, the UN agency denied the report, calling it “unfounded and untrue” and decrying its allegations, sourced from German Intelligence, as “false.”
“The U.N. agency said Tedros and Xi ‘have never spoken by phone’ and added that ‘such inaccurate reports distract and detract from WHO’s and the world’s efforts to end the COVID-19 pandemic,’” Euro News reports. “It said that China confirmed human-to-human transmission of the new coronavirus on Jan. 20.”
The statement went on to say that the WHO “publicly declared” the discovery two days later, noting, finally, that “data collected … suggests that human-to-human transmission is taking place in Wuhan.”
The Chinese government also issued its own 30-page point-by-point refutation of the Der Spiegel report, claiming that it has been “open and transparent” about the spread of the novel coronavirus. Instead, quoting Abraham Lincoln, it accused President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence of misleading the world about COVID-19: “As Lincoln said, you can fool some of the people all the time and fool all the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”
President Trump said, several weeks ago, that U.S. intelligence is undertaking an intensive investigation into the World Health Organization and whether it collaborated with China to hide evidence of community spread of the novel coronavirus. If it finds such evidence, the United States will withdraw its $400 million in funding from the global health group. The president has also said that U.S. intelligence services are investigating whether the virus may have escaped a lab in Wuhan.