Health officials in Taiwan said the World Health Organization (WHO) ignored their warnings in December 2019 that the CCP Virus (Wuhan coronavirus) could spread between people.
The Taiwanese warned the WHO in December 2019 of a potential human-to-human transmission of the virus after learning that medical staff on mainland China were getting ill, but the organization did not share the information, reported the Daily Caller, citing a report published on Friday, March 20, in the Financial Times.
“While the [International Health Regulations’] internal website provides a platform for all countries to share information on the epidemic and their response, none of the information shared by our country’s [Centers for Disease Control] is being put up there,” Taiwan Vice President Chen Chien-jen told the Times.
“The WHO could not obtain firsthand information to study and judge whether there was human-to-human transmission of COVID-19. This led it to announce human-to-human transmission with a delay, and an opportunity to raise the alert level both in China and the wider world was lost,” Chen added.
In response, the WHO argued that it had to “hold frank and open discussions on sometimes sensitive issues” and “respect the confidentiality of such communications.”
Ignoring Taiwan’s alarm, the WHO on Jan. 14 parroted China’s claims that the CCP Virus wasn’t transferred among humans.
Under Chinese pressure to keep Taiwan from participating in international organizations, the WHO did not permit Taiwan to attend emergency briefings on Jan. 21 to determine whether the CCP Virus outbreak would become an international crisis.
Despite its close proximity with China, Taiwan, with its early strong measures to stem the spread of the virus, has had only 195 confirmed cases and two deaths, according to the latest data.
The relationship between WHO Director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and Beijing may shed some light on the organization’s decision to sit on Taiwan’s warnings.
Ghebreyesus has repeatedly praised China for its “transparency” in its handling of the CCP Virus outbreak, which has claimed thousands of lives throughout the world and rattled the global economy.
“For the first time, #China has reported no domestic #COVID19 cases yesterday. This is an amazing achievement, which gives us all reassurance that the #coronavirus can be beaten,” Ghebreyesus tweeted Friday.
For the first time, #China has reported no domestic #COVID19 cases yesterday. This is an amazing achievement, which gives us all reassurance that the #coronavirus can be beaten. https://t.co/py3Ka2cbLK
— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) March 20, 2020
Ghebreyesus, a former health minister for Ethiopia, was elected to his position in the WHO in 2017. His home country’s economy has been largely dependent on China for more than a decade with Beijing pouring millions of dollars into the investigations for mega-projects, including a new $160 million national sports stadium in Addis, Ethiopia’s capital, reported the Fox News.
China also invested $2.9 billion of the $3.4 billion railway project and built the first six-lane highway of Ethiopia, becoming the country’s largest trading partner. However, the projects’ outcome did not meet Beijing’s objective and China could pull out of the country and that is something that Ghebreyesus unlikely wants to see.
The WHO’s director general has also drawn criticism after ordering an internal investigation into his own organization over allegations of racism, sexism, and deep corruption last year.
On March 11, the WHO finally declared the CCP Virus a global pandemic after it spread in over 110 countries and territories around the world. As of Monday, March 23, the virus has covered 192 countries, infecting more than 340,000 people and caused almost 15,000 deaths.
“The coronavirus pandemic has shown that Tedros is not fit to lead the WHO. Because of his leadership, the world may have missed a critical window to halt the pandemic or mitigate its virulence,” wrote Bradley Thayer, a political science professor at the University of Texas, San Antonio, and Lianchao Han, the vice president of Citizen Power Initiatives for China.
“The world is now battling rising infections and many countries have imposed restrictions. As leader of the WHO, Tedros should be held accountable for his role in mismanaging efforts to control the spread of the virus,” they added.