President Biden stopped America’s withdrawal from the World Health Organization on his first day in office. The premise of his decision is that reforming international institutions from within is more effective than leaving or withholding funds, and this theory is quickly tested.
“China has total control of the World Health Organization,” Donald Trump said last year when he announced that the US would leave. That was a typical exaggeration, but he was right. WHO director-general Tedros Ghebreyesus was concerned about China’s response to the virus – “very impressive and indescribable” – as Beijing destroyed virus samples, neutralized whistleblowers and spread conspiracy theories.
WHO officials Private considered speaking out, but figured that the Chinese Communist Party would be even less cooperative if it was publicly criticized. The agency’s reluctance did not do much. A team of WHO experts traveled to Beijing in February 2020 to investigate the origins of the virus – when their chances of finding out how it was transmitted from animals to humans were significantly better than they are today – but the Chinese government obstructed them.
The negotiations with Beijing dragged on until 2020. This month, Dr. Tedros finally made the mindless complaint that he was “very disappointed” with the delays. The Chinese Foreign Ministry welcomed the investigators’ presence shortly before their arrival in recent days. Take this as seriously as OJ Simpson’s vow to find his ex-wife’s killer, “my primary goal in life”.
According to media reports, Beijing urged the WHO to delegate critical preliminary investigations to Chinese scientists. The WHO team will receive incomplete data at best as research into the origin of Covid-19 in China cannot be published without the approval of the Communist Party. The Chinese government also approved the members and agenda of the WHO mission.