China issues furious response to criticism over coronavirus pandemic handling

China issues furious response to criticism over coronavirus pandemic handling

The 30-page, 11,000-word document came on Saturday as a report claimed Chinese President Xi Jinping personally spoke to World Health Organisation Director-General Tedros Adhanom to “delay a global warning” about the threat of coronavirus in January. Germany’s Der Spiegel published the reports this weekend, citing intelligence from the country’s Federal Intelligence Service, known as the “Bundesnachrichtendienst” (BND).

But WHO insisted the stories are “unfounded and untrue” shortly afterwards, claiming Dr Tedros and President Xi “did not speak on January 21 and they have never spoken by phone”.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has accused China of withholding virus samples he said were needed for vaccine development.

President Donald Trump said earlier this week there is enough evidence to show President Xi’s government deceived the international community.

“As Lincoln said, you can fool some of the people all the time and fool all the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time,” the article’s prologue said.

The document provides a timeline of how China had reportedly reported to the world in a “timely”, “open and transparent” manner to refute suggestions it had been slow to raise concerns.

In response to allegations the virus originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology, it claimed all evidence shows coronavirus is not man-made while insisting the institute does not have the capacity of synthesising a new virus.

The document cited media reports which claimed US citizens had contracted the virus before Wuhan’s first cases were verified, however, there is no evidence indicating this is true.

It also rebutted criticism of China’s management of the case of Li Wenliang, the doctor who first attempted to raise the alarm over the outbreak in Wuhan.

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“Dr Tedros and President Xi did not speak on January 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,” the statement read.

It continued: “China confirmed human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus on January 20 [prior to the alleged phone conversation].

“The WHO publicly declared on January 22 that ‘data collected … suggests that human-to-human transmission is taking place in Wuhan.”

If the allegations were true, they would support President Trump’s claims that the WHO is “China-centric”.

Back in April, the Trump Administration alleged the WHO was becoming a tool of ‘Chinese propaganda’, and the president moved to halt funding of the organisation.

“The World Health organisation has been a disaster everything they said was wrong and they’re China-centric,” Trump said a Fox News virtual town hall meeting, held last Monday.

“All they do is agree with China, whatever China wants to do. So our country, perhaps foolishly in retrospect has been paying $450million a year to the World Health Organisation and China’s been paying $38million a year but they were more political than all of our leaders previously.

“What they did, what World Health did, was they missed every single call and we’re not going to put up with it.”

Earlier this week, Trump also said there was enough evidence showing President Xi Jinping’s administration misled the international community.

“Well, I don’t think there’s any question about it. We wanted to go in, they didn’t want us to go in. Things are coming out that are pretty compelling. I don’t think there’s any question,” the president said Sunday.

“Personally, I think they made a horrible mistake, and they didn’t want to admit it,” he added.

A Department of Homeland Security document shared on Sunday showed US officials believe China “intentionally concealed the severity” of the outbreak in early January and hoarded medical supplies.

Published at Mon, 11 May 2020 03:39:00 +0000