White House coronavirus doc says WHO should be investigated after ‘delaying US crisis response’ following Trump’s attack – The Sun
A WHITE House doctor says the World Health Organization should be investigated for "delaying" the coronavirus crisis response following Donald Trump’s attack.
Birx, who is a member of the White House's Coronavirus Task Force, weighed in on the COVID-19 controversy after the president accused WHO of being "China-centric."
"You know, the WHO can only react to the data it's given," Birx told CBS' This Morning as the death toll neared 13,000.
"And when you go back and look at the timeline, it wasn't until I think almost the middle of January that China reported that there was human-to-human transmission.
"We have to really investigate reporting and how the reports were received there. I think it did delay the ability to declare this a global pandemic, an emergency.
"We can do all of that when we get through this as a global community to really understand how to do this better the next time."
WHO – headed by Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus – has become the latest COVID-19 scapegoat after Trump said they were responsible for the extent of the outbreak.
Infections surged towards the 400,000 mark Wednesday and the death toll topped 12,000 in the US.
Trump blamed the group for "missing the call," suggested they had been a part of Beijing's efforts to play down the crisis, and announced a "powerful hold" on US government contributions to the WHO this week.
In its most recent budget proposal, in February, his administration requested a reduction of the American contribution to the WHO from an estimated $122.6m to $57.9m.
"We pay for a majority, the biggest portion of their money and they actually criticized and disagreed with my travel ban at the time I did it," he raged.
"And they were wrong – they've been wrong about a lot of things. They seem to be very China-centric. They missed the call.
"They could have called it months earlier. They would have known. And they should have known. And they probably did know."
The news came hours after the president savaged the organization for giving "faulty" advice during the coronavirus outbreak on Twitter.
The White House is not alone in its condemnation as other world leaders question why WHO were so reluctant to declare a global pandemic, reports the New York Times.
Japan's Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso said some people refer to it as the “Chinese Health Organization," the publication reports.
But the organization pushed back, saying since China reported the outbreak on December 31, it “alerted member states to the significant risks and consequences of Covid-19 and provided them with a continuous flow of information."
On Wednesday, WHO official said the acute phase of a pandemic was not the time to cut funding, Reuters reported.
“We are still in the acute phase of a pandemic so now is not the time to cut back on funding," Dr Hans Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe, said.
Dr Bruce Aylward, senior advisor to the WHO Director-General, agreed “it was absolutely critical in the early part of this outbreak to have full access to everything possible, to get on the ground and work with the Chinese to understand this."
“This is what we did with every other hard hit country like Spain and had nothing to do with China specifically," Aylward said.
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