How China deceived WHO chief Tedros over coronavirus

WION
New Delhi, Delhi, India Updated: Apr 15, 2020, 09:05 PM(IST)

Tedros Ghebreyesus Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

US President Donald Trump had called the WHO 'China centric'

The WHO's response to coronavirus was delayed and inadequate. It has faced a barrage of criticism and now it is facing action.

Also Read: Global situation is grim, US decision on WHO will undermine cooperation, says China

America has cut the funding of the World Health Organisation, last week, the US President Donald Trump had called the WHO "China centric". On Tuesday night, he decided to hold back funds.

Everybody knows what's going on there, says the US president. His criticism matters because America is the largest contributor to the WHO.

The biggest donor last year, America gave more than $400 million to the international health body. That was around 15 per cent of the WHO budget. China was the second largest contributor.

The Xi government gave about $86 million in the last financial year to the WHO. Now, the fact is Donald Trump should be the last one to preach about timely action and his own list of failures is fairly long.

But in this case, his criticism of the WHO is fair and accurate. Government officials and health experts the world over have raised serious questions about the WHO or downplaying this crisis for moving too slowly and for bending over backwards for China.

In Japan, the deputy prime minister began referring to the WHO as the "Chinese health organisation". The deputy prime minister.

The government of Taiwan says that the WHO ignored its early warnings. Do their charges have merit?  

On January 14, the WHO tweeted preliminary investigations by China found no human-to-human transmission of the coronavirus.

The WHO was caught napping because that very day, the Wuhan health commission issued a public bulletin. It said the possibility of human-to-human transmission "cannot be ruled out."

What does this make of the World Health Organisation? they were caught sleeping at the wheel. Then we have Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO director-general. 

His leadership or more precisely the lack of it has been criticised. Instead of calling out China for the cover-up, he has showered praise on China.

In January, Dr Tedros visited China. He met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and praised China for "setting a new standard for outbreak response."

Almost 45 days later, the same standard lead to more than one lakh infections in almost every continent of the world. It certainly is a new standard. Our investigations have revealed why Dr Tedros won't say a word against China.

Beijing supported his candidature for the post of director-general. In 2017, Beijing had helped Dr Tedros win the election. This is being called quid pro quo-- a favour for a favour. 

In the last three months, Dr Tedros has repeatedly praised Xi Jinping. At the same time, he has been quick to criticise other governments. Two examples stand out - Taiwan and the United States of America - both were slammed by him.

The matter finally came to a head last week. Donald Trump unleashed a barrage of criticism against the WHO. 

In March, the WHO made an appeal to raise $675 million to help fight the pandemic, now they are reportedly planning a fresh appeal for $1 billion dollars.

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