KONFRONTASI - The World Health Organization has rejected claims by the US President Donald Trump, accusing the body of being “China-centric,” saying its work with Beijing was important to understand the outbreak, which began in the province of Wuhan.
“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,” Dr. Bruce Aylward, senior adviser to the WHO director general, told reporters on Wednesday. “This is what we did with every other hard hit country like Spain and had nothing to do with China specifically.”
Dr. Hans Kluge, the WHO regional director for Europe, also criticized Trump for his decision to put US contributions to the WHO on hold.
“We are still in the acute phase of a pandemic so now is not the time to cut back on funding,” Kluge reiterated during a virtual briefing on Wednesday.
Evangelical want China punished
Speaking at a White House press conference Tuesday, Trump blamed the WHO for getting every aspect of the coronavirus "wrong," threatening to pull back funding from the international organization.
He criticized the organization as being “very China-centric” for condemning his January 31 travel ban, which led to barring foreign nationals, who had traveled to China within the last 14 days, from entering the US.
Meanwhile, Trump's Evangelical boosters have joined a choir of voices urging him to punish China for its furtive mismanagement of covid-19
“From the time he rode down the escalator at Trump Tower, President Trump made clear there would be a new sheriff in town when it comes to dealing with China,” said Ralph Reed, co-founder of the Faith & Freedom Coalition on Wednesday.
“China lied about the genesis of the virus and under-reported their own cases. These are actions that cannot be ignored and for which China must be held responsible, and I think taking action to do that only serves to deepen the president's commitment,” Reed added.
The WHO began to sound the alarm on the outbreak of a new coronavirus in Wuhan, China in mid-January.
Later on January 30, it designated the covid-19 pandemic as a global health emergency after there had been only 8,200 cases in 18 countries across the world.
WHO officials declared the outbreak a pandemic on March 11, when there were only 121,000 confirmed cases globally.
So far, the virus has affected1,447,904 worldwide and killed 83,412. In the United States, more than 400,000 people have tested positive and 12,857 have died.[ptv]