When the WHO emergency committee discussed whether to declare COVID-19 a public-health emergency on January 23, international observers had definitively discredited Chinese health data. Yet Tedros relied on those data in arguing against declaring an emergency — over the objections of other committee members. That decision delayed the mobilization of public-health resources around the world. John Mackenzie, a committee member, attributed the delay to “very poor reporting” and “very poor communication” from the CCP. After finally declaring an emergency on January 30, Tedros continued to lavish praise on China. As late as February 20, he argued that Chinese actions were “slowing the spread [of coronavirus] to the rest of the world.”
Tedros isn’t afraid to take on world leaders as a general matter. When President Trump limited travel from China to the U.S. on January 31 — a decision that bought the U.S. precious time — Tedros said it would “have the effect of increasing fear and stigma, with little public health benefit.”
The record is clear: The WHO has lent its imprimatur to Chinese disinformation and blessed China’s slow response to its domestic outbreak, which likely caused a 20-fold increase in cases, according to a University of Southampton study.