A “top level” mission to China to determine the exact origins of the coronavirus pandemic has ended before it began, with the head of the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) complaining Beijing is refusing entry to investigators.
W.H.O. chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was “very disappointed” with the lack of cooperation, in the first recorded castigation of Beijing from the U.N. body.
“Today, we learned that Chinese officials have not yet finalised the necessary permissions for the team’s arrivals in China,” Tedros told reporters on Tuesday.
“I am very disappointed with this news, given that two members had already begun their journeys and others were not able to travel at the last minute.”
He stressed he sternly told told senior Chinese officials “that the mission is a priority for W.H.O. and the international team”.
“I have been assured that China is speeding up the internal procedure for the earliest possible deployment,” Tedros added.
U.S. President Donald Trump led early criticism of China’s bungled handling of the pandemic, while singling out the close alliance between the W.H.O. and China as an impediment to the global understanding of the viral threat:C-SPAN
Calls for the investigation began as far back as last April with China at first denying any culpability for the origins of coronavirus while ignoring calls for a full investigation.
Then in May a leaked intelligence report by the Five Eyes — Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and the USA — found the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) had destroyed evidence on the outbreak of its virus, a result of which caused the “endangerment of other countries.”
The dossier also revealed that the CCP “disappeared” whistle-blowing doctors and aggressively censored phrases such as “Wuhan Unknown Pneumonia”, “SARS variation”, and “Wuhan Seafood Market”, the latter related to the ‘wet’ live animal food market where the virus is suspected of having originated, as Breitbart London reported.
Australia confronted the World Health Organization over claims it supports so-called wet markets reopening in the Chinese city of Wuhan. https://t.co/TjH4HmGDzv
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) April 17, 2020
In September, Twitter blacklisted the account of Chinese virologist Dr. Li-Meng Yan, who preempted the official W.H.O. investigation with a series of allegations that drew a furious response from the CCP.
AFP contributed to this story