‘WHO has been complicit in the spread and normalisation of CCP propaganda and disinformation’

New Delhi: The United States House Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, in a report that was released earlier last month, has stated that the Covid-19 spread across the world due to the cover-up by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as well as “grave” missteps by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The 90-page report titled, “The origins of the Covid-19 global pandemic, including the roles of the Chinese Communist Party and the World Health Organization”, has called for the resignation of the WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus for his “detrimental impact” on the COVID-19 response while also seeking the admission of Taiwan into the WHO.

The report, an interim copy of which was released on 12 June, was headed by Republic Congressman Michal Mccaul who is also the chairman of the “China Task Force”, a US lawmakers’ group that is working on how the US should address the threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party.

The report has stated that Tedros chose to “defend and heap praise on a Member State (China) who has continuously fed the WHO lies and misinformation” and accused him and other senior officers of the WHO of not taking any action despite being aware that “PRC was withholding information and failing to abide by International Health Regulations (IHR). They knew their policy of appeasement was failing, yet chose to double down on it”, reads the report.

According to the report, the WHO refused to heed warnings from Taiwan and Hong Kong about human-to-human transmission and despite its director General Tedros having enough information to declare a pandemic on 23 January, he opted not to, a decision which was political in nature rather than scientific. “The WHO has been complicit in the spread and normalisation of CCP propaganda and disinformation and that the WHO’s public statements were heavily influenced by the Chinese Communist Party,” the report says.

The committee has said that despite Taiwan identifying the outbreak at a very early stage, the WHO refused to take Taiwan’s communications seriously as it might have upset China.

“Despite Taiwan’s early identification of the outbreak, warning of human-to-human transmission, and success in battling Covid-19, Director-General Tedros remained committed to the CCP’s position and continued to refuse to invite Taiwan to participate in the WHO. Had Taiwan been a member of the WHO, or allowed to attend under Observer Status, it is highly likely their warnings regarding human-to-human transmission would have been transmitted to other countries instead of censored by the WHO,” Mccaul has said.

Significantly, the committee report has called an international investigation into the CCP’s cover-up of the pandemic and WHO’s role in it. “The United States should engage with like-minded WHO Member States and Taiwan on an international investigation of the CCP’s cover-up of the early stages of the pandemic and the WHO’s failure to fulfil its obligations under the IHR. Such an investigation should seek to establish an even more definitive account of the origins of SARS-CoV-2, its appearance in humans, efforts by the CCP to conceal relevant scientific and health information about the outbreak, the effect of the CCP’s cover-up on the actions of the WHO, the impact of the WHO’s parroting of CCP propaganda, and the influence of the CCP’s cover-up on the global response. Fortunately, we are not alone in this proposal. The Governments of Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden, and Taiwan, in addition to the European Commission, have publicly expressed their support for an independent investigation of the pandemic. On 19 May, the World Health Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution cosponsored by more than 130 countries calling for an independent and comprehensive evaluation of the WHO’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic,” the report further reads.

“The failures of the CCP to protect their citizens and fulfil their obligations under international law have resulted in disappeared journalists, a world seized by a public health emergency, a shattered world economy, and hundreds of thousands of dead. Senior CCP leaders, including CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping, knew a pandemic was ongoing weeks before it was announced. Instead of warning the world, the CCP chose to nationalize foreign supply chains and secretively buy up medical supplies in foreign countries to ship to the PRC. When countries complained, or advocated for an investigation into the CCP cover-up, the PRC threatened bans on exports or instituted massive tariffs to punish those countries. The CCP continues to seek to bully not only the WHO, but other countries around the world who want to understand the core failures that lead to COVID-19 becoming a global pandemic. Research shows the CCP could have reduced the number of cases in China by up to 95% had it fulfilled its obligations under international law and responded to the outbreak in a manner consistent with best practices. It is highly likely the ongoing pandemic could have been prevented. The WHO, despite internal discussions about the lack of transparency and cooperation from the CCP, continues to praise General Secretary Xi and the PRC for its handling of the virus,” the report, which is likely to lead to credible action in the near future, states.

As per Mccaul, the committee members went through multiple sources of information, including WeChat logs and social media posts from doctors and residents of Wuhan, domestic and international open source media reports, academic papers, peer-reviewed scientific research, think tank products, and public assessments from the American and French intelligence communities, to prepare the report which also includes copies of internal communications and other related emails.

The committee, in a separate section dedicated to “The Chinese Communist Party’s Cover-up”, has detailed how CCP harassed, detained journalists, scientists, and healthcare professionals who were telling the truth about the CCP’s handling of Covid-19. The committee found that as early as mid-December, the CCP had enough information to assess it was legally obligated to inform the WHO about the outbreak in Wuhan, but they chose not to in violation of international law.