In an article by Daily Mail, it was reported that China President Xi Jinping ‘personally asked the World Health Organization to hold back information about human to human transmission and delay a global pandemic warning’ at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, as claimed by Der Spiegel.
Der Spiegel, a German publication, published the allegations citing ‘intelligence from the country’s Federal Intelligence Service’, the Bundesnachrichtendiens (BND). According to the BND: ‘On January 21, China’s leader Xi Jinping asked WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to hold back information about a human-to-human transmission and to delay a pandemic warning’. Read more: Can the WHO meet the Coronavirus challenge, an article by Der Spiegel.
The agency estimates that China’s information policy lost four to six weeks to fight the virus before it became a pandemic. If claims were true, it would affirm US President Donald Trump’s claim that WHO is ‘China-centric’.
‘The World Health organization has been a disaster everything they said was wrong and they’re China-centric,” states US President Donald Trump. It can be recalled that the US President has threatened to halt US funding of WHO.
However, WHO was quick to deny the allegations. Moreover, the agency published an official statement debunking the Der Spiegel claim that WHO has granted China’s request to hold back information.
“Der Spiegel reports of a January 21, 2020, telephone conversation between Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and President Xi Jingping of China are unfounded and untrue. Dr Tedros and President Xi did not speak on Jan. 21 and they have never spoken by phone. Such inaccurate reports distract and detract from WHO’s and the world’s efforts to end the COVID-19 pandemic. To note: China confirmed human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus on Jan. 20,” official statement of WHO on false allegations in Der Spiegel.