China failed to stop pandemic, engaged in coverup with WHO's help, GOP congressional report says
The report urges, however, that the U.S. remain involved with WHO to force reform from within.
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The House Committee on Foreign Affairs is set Monday to release an audit report on actions perpetrated by China and the World Health Organization at the beginning of the global coronavirus pandemic.
The report, written by Republican members of the Democrat-led committee, states that "beyond doubt" the Chinese Communist Party "actively engaged in a cover-up designed to obfuscate data, hide relevant public health information, and suppress doctors and journalists who attempted to warn the world," according to news accounts ahead of the release of the report.
The 96-page document alleges that the Chinese government hid data and destroyed inconvenient evidence related to the deadly virus that originated in Wuhan.
Citing findings posted at Medrxiv, an online site sharing non-peer-reviewed, pre-publication medical research papers, the report purportedly states: "Research shows the CCP could have reduced the number of cases in China by up to 95 percent had it fulfilled its obligations under international law and responded to the outbreak in a manner consistent with best practices."
"It is highly likely the ongoing pandemic could have been prevented," the report also states, arguing that had the Chinese Communist Party behaved in a more transparent manner when first confronted with information about the virus, hundreds of thousands of lives might have been saved.
The report also purportedly states the WHO has been "complicit in the spread and normalization of CCP propaganda and disinformation" and calls upon WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to resign.
Internal WHO documents show organization officials frustrated by the Chinese government's ongoing refusal to send over data on patients and cases, while Tedros was publicly praising China for its early response.
According to the report, United States officials were not given access to China's Wuhan pandemic response plan in February. The WHO claims that American doctors signed off on the idea of other officials conducting the Wuhan response review. However, officials from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services told the report's authors that they were left off the invite list to Wuhan.
President Trump has continuously laid into the Chinese Communist Party for its handling of the coronavirus while it was still confined to one region, and its purported attempts to stifle information about the impact of the virus.
Unlike Trump, however, the report concluded that the U.S. should remain a part of the WHO but be prepared to impose serious change on the organization.
"By remaining part of a WHO that is ready for change, the United States can drive forward the necessary reforms of the International Health Regulations and the WHO," the report states.