A forthcoming report from Republicans on the House Foreign Affairs Committee claims it is likely the coronavirus pandemic “could have been prevented,” if China and the World Health Organization had been more forthcoming with information.
According to the New York Post, which obtained a copy of the committee’s audit ahead of its release, the report claims China wasn’t transparent enough about the virus.
The Post reports that the 96-page document also calls for the resignation WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom over his “detrimental impact on the COVID-19 response.”
“It is beyond doubt that the Chinese Communist Party actively engaged in a cover-up designed to obfuscate data, hide relevant public health information, and suppress doctors and journalists who attempted to warn the world,” the report allegedly states.
“Research shows the CCP could have reduced the number of cases in China by up to 95 percent had it fulfilled its obligations under international law and responded to the outbreak in a manner consistent with best practices,” it added, while also saying “it is highly likely the ongoing pandemic could have been prevented.”
According to the report, on Jan. 1, Chinese officials ordered the wet market where the virus is suspected to have come from “be closed and sanitized, destroying forensic evidence that may have provided insight into the origins of the outbreak,” according to the New York Post.
The following day, scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology discovered that the coronavirus was highly contagious but didn’t immediately inform the WHO, it reportedly added.
The report also suggests that the WHO ignored warnings from Taiwan and Hong Kong about the risk of human-to-human transmission. It claims that the WHO falsely stated for weeks that Chinese researchers found “no evidence” of that happening, according to the newspaper.
“From the early stages of the outbreak, the WHO, under Director-General Tedros’ leadership, parroted and upheld as inviolable truth, statements from the CCP,” the document reportedly states. “An examination of their public statements, including the praise heaped on the CCP’s handling of the pandemic, reveal a disturbing willingness to ignore science and alternative credible sources.”
Ranking committee member Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, told The Post that both Tedros and the Chinese government needed to be held accountable for “the suffering they have allowed the world to endure."
“It is crystal clear that had the CCP been transparent, and had the head of the WHO cared more about global health than appeasing the CCP, lives could have been spared and widespread economic devastation could have been mitigated,” he told the outlet.
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