Given that illness and disease are apolitical, one would think that an international health organization would be, as well.
But when it comes to the World Health Organization, that certainly doesn’t appear to be the case, as some experts are now arguing.
“The WHO’s exclusion of Taiwan from the global fight against the pandemic is a reckless dereliction of duty,” a pair of law professors from the U.S.-Asia Law Institute wrote for the Council on Foreign Relations on April 9.
The nations of China and Taiwan have long been in a sovereignty dispute and the WHO has repeatedly sided with the communist regime, refusing to grant Taiwan membership and wholly disregarding the nation on multiple occasions, even at the cost of slowing the spread of the coronavirus.
“WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, whose election was due in large part to China’s support, has been widely criticized for actions that appeared to help China downplay the outbreak, delaying the international response as a result,” the academics wrote.
“Taiwan’s exclusion is an example of how the world’s health body puts politics before public health. Governments and concerned citizens must demand that the WHO fulfill its obligation — to represent the world’s health interests, not China’s — and hold the WHO accountable when it fails.”
Taiwanese health officials warned the WHO of the dangers of the coronavirus in a Dec. 31 email, Reuters reported.
The international organization disputed there being any mention of human-to-human transmission in the email, which prompted the Taiwanese Ministry of Health and Welfare to share the original text on April 11.
— MOHW of Taiwan (@MOHW_Taiwan) April 11, 2020
“If being treated in isolation is not a warning, then what is?” the country’s health minister asked, according to Reuters.
After receiving the vital information from Taiwan’s email, the WHO put out a Jan. 12 statement saying “[a]t this stage, there is no infection among healthcare workers, and no clear evidence of human to human transmission.”
On Jan. 29, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who has long been mired in controversy, praised China’s overall response to the coronavirus and on Feb. 3 claimed President Donald Trump’s China travel ban would “unnecessarily interfere with international travel and trade.”
He has since accused Taiwan of racism against Africans, an attack for which the Asian nation demanded an apology, Bloomberg reported.
“Without having checked the facts, Tedros’s unprovoked and untrue accusations not only differ from reality, they have also seriously harmed our government and our people,” Taiwan’s foreign ministry said.
“This kind of slander is extremely irresponsible.”
The WHO’s bias was also put on full display in March when one of its top officials was interviewed by Hong Kong journalist Yvonne Tong.
During the shocking interview, Bruce Aylward, a senior adviser to Tedros, pretended not to hear a question about the island nation. When asked again, he hung up on the journalist.
She calls back & he said “Well, we’ve already talked about China.”
— 😷Hong Kong World City 🖐🏻☔️ (@HKWORLDCITY) March 28, 2020
After returning to the call, Aylward was asked what he thought of Taiwan’s incredible response to the virus, to which he said “well, we’ve already talked about China.”
Tong’s last question was relevant given how remarkably successful Taiwan has indeed been in combating the virus. As of Friday, the nation has had only 428 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and six deaths, according to Johns Hopkins.
In comparison, Australia, a country with roughly the same population, has had 6,661 confirmed cases and 75 deaths.
Due to multiple factors, including the information they had given the WHO and their healthy distrust of China, the Taiwanese have been able to keep their COVID-19 numbers to a minimum.
It has become clear that the WHO’s political bias in favor of the communist dictatorship delayed the world’s international response and may have resulted in countless unnecessary deaths.
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