World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has been coming under fire since the beginnings of the coronavirus pandemic.
However, Jamie Metzl, a member of the WHO's advisory board, told Newsmax on Wednesday, the director general was actually a "hero of this latest stage of the process" after he rejected an independent commission's report on the beginnings of the disease last March and called for further information.
"On the day in the ceremony when that report was released, Tedros did something incredible," Metzl told Wednesday's "Wake Up America," rejecting host Rob Finnerty's skepticism of the director general. "He basically rejected the entire report. He said this is insufficient. We need a full investigation, and he called on states and others to authorize that investigation. I know, I think, it's too easy to beat up on the WHO."
The organization is not perfect, Metzl added, and further investigation must be demanded on COVID, but he called it "misinformation" to blame Tedros for the report. Metzl is a Democrat who worked under then-Sen. Joe Biden as deputy staff director on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Back in March, Tedros said the mission, which was carried out by an independent team and Chinese counterparts, did not adequately analyze the possibility of a lab leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology before concluding the virus spread from bats to humans through another animal.
At that time, Tedros said he was ready to deploy more investigations.
Finnerty noted, care should be taken when calling Tedros a hero, as he had still allowed the March 2020 report to be released and had made erroneous statements on the pandemic, but Metzl countered there many cases of misinformation, including from then-President Donald Trump.
"There was a lot of misinformation," Metzl said. "We need to look at it all and hold people accountable for it, and certainly Tedros has expressed his regret at some of those early statements. But I will reiterate Tedros was a hero of this later stage of the process because this report that was mandated, he didn't call on this report. He then rejected it, and called for a full investigation. And that's been a rallying cry of people trying to get to the bottom of this all around the world."
Metzl also insisted he himself was the "leading international voice" calling the March 2020 report and the process used to get the information a "total sham."
"It was shockingly incomplete and, frankly insulting," he said. "But we also need to be clear who the entity was who carried out that study mission. People call it a WHO investigation, but it wasn't an investigation, and it wasn't carried out by the WHO. It was a joint commitment by an independent expert committee that the WHO helped organized but didn't control and their Chinese government counterparts, and that process was a total sham. "
Meanwhile, it is important that full investigations continue into the source of the deadly coronavirus, Metzl added.
"When a plane crashes, we do everything we can to figure out what happened and because we need to have that information to fix our biggest problems," he said. "If we want to prioritize our efforts to prevent the next pandemic, it's critically important that we understand how this one started."
Meanwhile, there are "two very credible hypotheses" at this point, about the pandemic's beginnings, and both must be investigated, Metzl said.
"If we knew just hypothetically that this absolutely started with a lab incident that would put a lot of pressure on us to look at the regulation of these almost 60 highest level of virology institutes spread around the world, which are doing a lot of experimentation that is dangerous," Metzl said. "It may be some of a lot of it may be necessary, but it's dangerous, and it's regulated differently in different places."
The "biggest reason" the origins of the pandemic are not known, Metzl continued, is because the Chinese have been engaged in a "massive cover-up" since day one of the disease.
However, allegations China was working on "some kind of bioweapon" and had released it "would be such an inefficient way to do things," but using the word "accidental" further perpetuates misinformation.
"We don't know if it was an accident [or] if it was deliberate," Metzl said. "That's why we need this investigation."
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