WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A German newspaper reported that the Chinese president pressured WHO to hold back the global release of info regarding COVID-19 back on Jan. 21.
- The WHO released a statement calling the allegations “unfounded and untrue”.
- President Trump has frozen the US’ payments to the WHO until the intelligence community can look into WHO and China’s relationship.
According to a report in a German newspaper, Chinese President Xi Jinping pressured the World Health Organization chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in January to “delay a global warning” about the outbreak of the coronavirus.
Der Spiegel reported the Jan. 21 conversation between Tedros and Jinping, citing from the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany’s federal intelligence service. The report said Jinping urged WHO to hold back information regarding the coronavirus being able to transmit from human to human.
The BND estimated that China keeping information about the virus cost the globe four to six weeks to start the fight against COVID-19.
The WHO retaliated with a statement saying the WHO leader Tedros and the Chinese president “did not speak on January 21 and they have never spoken by phone.” WHO called the allegations “unfounded and untrue” and that these inaccurate reports “distract and detract from WHO’s and the world’s efforts to end the COVID-19 pandemic.”
According to WHO, China confirmed human-to-human transmission of the virus on Jan. 20. Two days later, WHO “publicly declared” that collected data suggested human-to-human transmission was taking place in Wuhan.
US President Trump previously commented about China misleading other countries about the coronavirus. He also criticized the WHO, calling them a “pipe organ” for China.
“We knew things that they didn’t know, and either they didn’t know or they didn’t tell us,” Trump said.
The US’ payments to the WHO were frozen by Trump, pending intelligence community investigations into China’s relationship with the UN agency.
Source: New York Post