China withheld information on coronavirus: German news outlet

WION
Beijing Published: May 11, 2020, 08:22 PM(IST)

China Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

A German media house has claimed that China held back information on the novel coronavirus. China and WHO have declined the accusation.

What else has the Chinese regime stolen? Did it rob the world of time needed to prepare for this pandemic? This is a question that has been debated for months, but there has been no conclusive outcome.

A media report in Germany has now reignited this debate. Some very pertinent questions are being asked. Questions like is there an active hotline between the presidential office in Beijing and the W.H.O headquarters in Geneva? Did XI Jinping dial Dr. Tedros to delay a global warning on the coronavirus outbreak? Did the Chinese President personally urge the W.H.O Chief to hold back information about human to human transmission? 

Der Spiegel, a German news outlet says he did.

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The allegations were released in a bombshell report this weekend. This report cites intelligence from germany's federal intelligence service. From a body which goes by the name of 'bun-des-nach-rich-ten-dienst' (bundes-nakh-rikh-tienst). So let's go by what its popularly known as: BND.

A body which is said to secretly operate in more than 100 countries, including China.

So, according to the BND, the Chinese President made a phone call to Dr. Tedros on the 21st of January.

The purpose was to make the W.H.O Chief hold back information about the coronavirus and delay a pandemic warning. The BND estimates that China's quote unquote 'information policy' lost the world some crucial weeks it needed to fight this virus.

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These are some serious charges, and China has responded seriously, launched another offensive, duly supported by the WHO, which was quick to defend China.

The W.H.O has called these allegations unfounded, false and untrue. It says not only did President XI and Dr. Tedros not speak on the 21st of January, but they have never spoken by telephone.

The W.H.O statement self-righteously reads, "such innacurate reports distract and detract from the who's and the world's efforts to end the covid-19 pandemic."

It also carries a note saying that China confirmed human-to-human transmission of the coronavirus on the 20th of January. China agrees to this.

Guess who they deputed to issue a clarification?

Their most famous conspiracy theorist, the one who said the virus had come from the U.S and then made a u-turn, Zhao Lijian. He rebuked the organization behind these claims and shared some words of wisdom on ethical journalism.

"The chinese leader did not speak with the who director-general on january 21, and who has made detailed clarifications on it. We hope that the relevant media will strictly abide by the professional ethics of journalism and not disseminate false information," he said.

Do not disseminate false information' he says. Charity begins at home, we say. Start with disseminating true information. Where again did the coronavirus originate? This question still awaits an official answer from China.

Pray, shed some light.

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