It is not only WHO that has been infested with Left-leaning bureaucrats; the entire public health establishment is dominated by such people.

There are no surprises in the World Health Organisation’s 14-member team’s findings about the origin of the novel coronavirus. The team of scientists has practically exonerated China regarding its role in spreading Covid-19. A few days ago, it said that it was “extremely unlikely” that the virus originated in a lab, as was suspected. Now the WHO scientists, according to Daily Mail, say that “cold-chain products” such as Australian beef, could have led to the initial outbreak. This is in keeping with the WHO’s subservience to Beijing, the subservience that proved calamitous for the world.

For over more than a year, the WHO, especially its Director General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has been saying and doing everything the Communist Party of China wants it to say and do. An investigative report by the Associated Press on 2 June last year proved, if any proof was required, that China deliberately delayed the release of data on the coronavirus and the danger it posed to human beings. “China,” the AP report said, “in fact sat on releasing the genetic map, or genome, of the virus for more than a week after three different government labs had fully decoded the information. Tight controls on information and competition within the Chinese public health system were to blame, according to dozens of interviews and internal documents.”

It went on to say, “Throughout January, the World Health Organization publicly praised China for what it called a speedy response to the new coronavirus.”

The truth was not just the opposite, but the WHO also knew it. WHO officials praised China in public because they thought that they could coax more information out of the government, the recordings obtained by the AP suggest. “Privately, they complained in meetings the week of Jan. 6 that China was not sharing enough data to assess how effectively the virus spread between people or what risk it posed to the rest of the world, costing valuable time,” the AP report said.

The time was not valuable but invaluable. Nature, a prestigious science magazine, reported on 17 March, “Epidemiologists say China’s mammoth response had one glaring flaw: it started too late. In the initial weeks of the outbreak in December and January, Wuhan authorities were slow to report cases of the mysterious infection, which delayed measures to contain it, says Howard Markel, a public-health researcher at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. ‘The delay of China to act is probably responsible for this world event,’ says Markel”.

The magazine also reported about a model simulation by Lai Shengjie and Andrew Tatem, emerging-disease researchers at the University of Southampton, UK. It showed that “if China had implemented its control measures a week earlier, it could have prevented 67 per cent of all cases there. Implementing the measures three weeks earlier, from the beginning of January, would have cut the number of infections to 5 per cent of the total.”

Covid-19 has killed 2.35 million people; going by the Nature report, about 2.2 million people died just because China refused to inform the WHO and the world at large about the deadliness of the coronavirus.

The AP report quoted the world body’s chief of emergencies, Dr Michael Ryan, as saying at one of the meetings: “This would not happen in Congo and did not happen in Congo and other places.” He was probably referring to the Ebola outbreak that began there in 2018. “We need to see the data… It’s absolutely important at this point.”

In other words, Congo, a small and poor country, need not be coaxed to get data from; it could even be coerced. China, however, was different, Ryan implied.

He was wrong. It was a few years ago in this century, and not in another, that China was forced to behave itself. In November 2002, the Chinese government came to know of the first cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars). At that time, the WHO was headed by former Prime Minister of Norway, Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland. She relied on the WHO’s local contacts and the nascent internet rather than on Beijing. At any rate, government officials never informed the WHO about the outbreak.

The gutsy lady had the courage to take on the Chinese government. She slammed it for withholding information. All bullies are cowards; CCP thugs are no exception, so they quickly complied. This saved China and the world from a pandemic, despite the fact that the virus had reached 26 countries. The death toll was below 1,000.

That was then. Now the WHO is headed by Tedros, China’s puppet. Not just that; much has changed in the last 19 years. It is not only the WHO that has been infested with Left-leaning bureaucrats; the entire public health establishment is dominated by such people.

All of them have a soft spot for communist China. This is the reason that WHO officials and other public health experts keep pandering to Beijing.

Last April, Japan’s Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso said that the WHO should be renamed as the “Chinese Health Organisation.” The 14-member WHO team has once again proved him right.

Ravi Shanker Kapoor is a freelance journalist.