WHO's explanation on naming new COVID variant Omicron sparks speculation about China sympathy

 WHO's best practices for naming new diseases developed with U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization, of the U.N., World Organization for Animal Health

Updated: November 29, 2021 - 2:33pm

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The World Health Organization says it skipped the Greek letters "nu" and "xi" in naming the new COVID-19 variant Omicron because the former sounds too much like the word "new" and the second could be culturally offensive because its a common Chinese surname.

"Two letters were skipped -- Nu and Xi -- because Nu is too easily confounded with 'new' and Xi was not used because it is a common surname and [the] WHO best practices for naming new diseases … suggest avoiding 'causing offence to any cultural, social, national, regional, professional, or ethnic groups,' " the United Nations agency told the Epoch Times.

The WHO's best practices for naming new diseases were developed in 2015 conjunction with the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Organization for Animal Health, the news group also reports.

Professor Jonathan Turley, a criminal attorney and professor at George Washington University, says the WHO is "again avoiding any discomfort for the Chinese government" in skipping the "Xi" letter and naming it Omicron.

“The new variant was expected to be Nu but any additional variant would then be Xi, which happens to be the name of the Chinese leader,” he tweeted.

In addition, Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz says the WHO, which critics have accused on helping China cover up the origins of COVID, is "scared of the Chinese Communist Party," And Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, a fellow Republican, says the group is "more concerned about the feelings of the Chinese Communist Party than they are about public health," the Epoch Times also reports.

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