New documents leaked to the Associated Press confirm that the WHO, while praising China in public, knew the CCP was lying about the virus.
by Massimo Introvigne
Media around the world are commenting the publication by the Associated Press of new confidential documents by the World Health Organization (WHO), confirming that the WHO, while it was telling the world how cooperative and transparent China was, knew that this was not true. It also knew the CCP’s lies would likely result in the loss of thousands of human lives.
The basic story is known, and Bitter Winter told it as early as March 27. The Associated Press documents, however, add new details. On December 27, 2019, one Chinese laboratory, Vision Medicals, had managed to sequence “most” of the genome of the new virus, and sent it to the authorities in Wuhan and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. By January 2, Shi Zhengli, a famous virologist in Wuhan, had detected the full sequence of the genome. On January 5, the Shanghai Public Clinical Health Center, led by another well-known virologist, Zhang Yongzhen, was the third laboratory to sequence the virus’ genome. It also correctly concluded that it was transmitted from human to human. Other two laboratories followed.
Rather than informing other countries and the WHO, on January 3, China’s National Health Commission issued an order, asking the laboratories to destroy the samples and forbidding them to divulge their results. Based on comments by Chinese doctors on social media, on January 8, the Wall Street Journal reported the outbreak of a SARS-like pneumonia in Wuhan. The AP documents reveal that the article greatly embarrassed the WHO. “Dr. Tom Grein, chief of WHO’s acute events management team, said the agency looked ‘doubly, incredibly stupid,’” and Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies program, started realizing that China was lying about the events in Wuhan.
In a few hours, on January 8, after the Wall Street Journal had published its article, two events happened. First, Chinese authorities announced they had just “discovered” a new coronavirus—a lie, since they had an almost complete sequence of its genome since December 27. Second, a suspicious passenger from Wuhan was stopped by Thai health authorities upon entering Thailand. She was examined by a team led by Professor Supaporn Wacharapluesadee, who found a new coronavirus. In 24 hours, Supaporn had obtained a partial genetic sequence of the virus, and shared it with Thai authorities. She did not know that a full sequence was available in China. On January 11, Shanghai’s Zhang Yongzhen posted the full sequence on the specialized Web site virological.org. He did so without permission from the Chinese authorities, who reacted by closing his laboratory. Zhang’s brave move, however, allowed the Thai scientists to confirm that their case matched the findings in China, and to alert the WHO. Only after Zhang’s publication and communications from Thailand, China finally officially transmitted the sequence to the WHO, on January 12, but still tried to hide for several days that human-to-human transmission was a proved fact.
In the first two weeks of January, WHO’s Michael Ryan continuously asked WHO’s top authorities to put pressure on China, telling them this was a remake of Chinese reticence to share data about SARS. “This is exactly the same scenario, endlessly trying to get updates from China about what was going on,” he said according to the Associated Press, “WHO barely got out of that one with its neck intact given the issues that arose around transparency in southern China.” Ryan also commented that what was happening in China “would not happen in Congo and did not happen in Congo and other places,” referring to Congo’s more cooperative attitude when Ebola hit.
The WHO representative in Beijing, Dr. Gauden Galea, is from Malta, a country with close ties with China. Yet, he also told the WHO leaders that China was not cooperating. According to the Associated Press, on January 9 he stated that, “We have informally and formally been requesting more epidemiological information, but when asked for specifics, we could get nothing.”
This led to catastrophic mistakes. On January 14, the WHO tweeted that “Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in #Wuhan, #China.” The contrary was true, and the WHO was consciously or unconsciously spreading the CCP’s lies.
Faced with China’s lack of cooperation, finally Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO’s Director-General and a staunch Chinese ally, traveled to Beijing with other WHO officers, including Ryan. Tedros finally received enough information to declare a world emergency on January 30. Yet, rather than blaming the CCP for the deadly delay in informing the world, Tedros insisted that, “We should have actually expressed our respect and gratitude to China for what it’s doing. It has already done incredible things to limit the transmission of the virus to other countries.” WHO’s credibility was at its lowest. Preserving the image of China and supporting Chinese propaganda had been more important than saving human lives.