With more and more nations demanding an independent inquiry into the origins of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic sweeping the world and China’s response, it’s astounding the Canadian government still cannot bring itself to be critical of either the World Health Organization or China itself.
International Development Minister Karina Gould told reporters on the eve of the World Health Organization meeting that that organization had no business questioning China, arguing that the WHO is tasked with global public health and is a product of its member states. It is the latter who in turn should be pushing for transparency.
Gould’s comments hardly come as a surprise. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has refused to be critical of either the WHO or China, despite clear evidence that the organization worked hand in glove with China to downplay the risks to the world.
All that has come into question as nation after nation is forced to deal with the consequences of decisions made in December of last year. With the death toll mounting, the United States, Australia, the European Union and others have demanded an independent inquiry.
Yesterday, the WHO’s director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told the virtual assembly that a review of the global coronavirus response would be launched at the earliest appropriate moment.
China’s President Xi Jinping announced his country’s support of the review and pledged $2 billion over the next few years to aid in the containment of the virus’s spread.
It’s difficult to see how the WHO can lead an independent review. Tedros has shown himself to be a puppet of China and a man clearly out of his depth.
Contrast his treatment of China during this pandemic to that of former WHO director Gro Harlem Bruntland during the last SARS pandemic.
The latter was highly critical of China’s secrecy, its lies and its refusal to let the WHO do its job. Her words at the 2003 pandemic’s end are chilling:
“It would have been definitely helpful if the international expertise and WHO had been able to help at an earlier stage,” she said.
“When I say that it would have been better, it means that I’m saying as the director general of the World Health Organization: next time something strange and new comes anywhere in the world let us come in as quickly as possible.”
Well, something new and strange did come along 17 years later and China’s response was to destroy viral samples, lie to the world and even allow its citizens to travel internationally while it was prohibiting travel internally.
The world needs a truly independent inquiry of not only China but the WHO itself. Too many have died, too much has been lost for a sham review.
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