The World Health Organization is denying a new report that it delayed labeling the COVID-19 coronavirus a pandemic at China’s request.
The German magazine Der Spiegel reported that Chinese President Xi Jinping asked WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus during a conversation on January 21 not to reveal evidence that the virus could be transmitted from human to human and to delay labeling it a pandemic.
The German intelligence agency BND determined that WHO’s efforts cost the world six weeks in its virus fight. China reportedly confirmed human-to-human transmission of the virus on January 20 but didn’t report that to the world definitively until February.
Coronavirus was declared a pandemic on February 11. WHO claims that XI and Tedros “have never spoken on the phone” and that “such inaccurate reports distract and detract from WHO’s and the world’s efforts to end the COVID-19 pandemic.”
President Donald Trump has halted payments to WHO while it investigates the organization’s role in China’s actions at the start of the pandemic.
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