WaPo Tries To Fact Check Trump on WHO Claim, Misses The Point Entirely


It has been obvious for years now that the establishment media hates President Donald Trump and will never grant him the benefit of the doubt, but will instead parse his every word to find a way to disparage him or prove him wrong.

Such has been the case with Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. Most recently, the media has obsessed over his decision to withhold funds from the World Health Organization, which he has accused of siding with the communist Chinese regime in covering up the viral contagion in the early stages and echoing its propaganda to avoid accountability for the spread of the virus.

For example, check out the latest “fact check” from The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler of a comment Trump made regarding the WHO’s failure to warn the rest of the world of human-to-human transmission of the virus when evidence suggests that the globalist, “China-centric” institution was well aware of that occurring.

Even though he gave Trump three Pinocchios for a false statement, Kessler’s own timeline of events proves that Trump, for the most part, was actually correct.

At the heart of Kessler’s fact check was a statement Trump made during a media briefing on Tuesday, when he said, “The WHO failed to investigate credible reports from sources in Wuhan that conflicted directly with the Chinese government’s official accounts. There was credible information to suspect human-to-human transmission in December 2019, which should have spurred the WHO to investigate, and investigate immediately.”

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“Through the middle of January, it parroted and publicly endorsed the idea that there was not human-to-human transmission happening despite reports and clear evidence to the contrary. … The WHO pushed China’s misinformation about the virus, saying it was not communicable,” the president added.

In trying to prove Trump wrong, however, Kessler ended up proving him right, first by noting that Taiwan had attempted to warn the WHO of the viral outbreak emerging from China in late December, only to be ignored because Taiwan, at the behest of communist China, is not a WHO member nation.

On Dec. 31, the Taiwanese Centers for Disease Control warned the WHO of an “atypical pneumonia” in China that had sickened medical workers and therefore was likely spread via human contact. That news came to Taiwan from a Chinese doctor who raised the red flag in an online chat room but later died from the very disease he was warning about.

That warning from Taiwan was the “credible reports” Trump had referenced to show that the WHO knew, at the very least by late December, that the new coronavirus might be transmissible from human to human.

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An unnamed “senior administration official” told Kessler, “this key information was seemingly disregarded by the WHO, which does not allow Taiwan to participate in its meetings due to Chinese political pressure, and not shared with the world until later in January.”

Kessler then looked at a number of public statements issued by the WHO from early to late January.

On Jan. 5, the WHO said there was “no evidence of significant human-to-human transmission and no health care worker infections have been reported.” Similarly, on Jan. 9, citing Chinese authorities, the WHO said, “the virus … does not transmit readily between people.”

On Jan. 10, however, the WHO issued guidance that told health care workers to take precautions against droplets and potential airborne spread of the virus, suggesting the organization suspected it could be spread between people.

But on Jan. 12, the WHO still insisted in a public news release that “there is no infection among healthcare workers, and no clear evidence of human to human transmission.”

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One day later, the WHO said there had been “no suggestion of human to human transmission of this new coronavirus.”

That was followed by three separate statements issued on Jan. 14 that all echoed that sentiment.

A news release that day said “there is no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission,” while a tweet read, “Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission.”

In a news briefing, a top WHO official acknowledged there was a possibility of “limited human-to-human transmission,” but immediately added that the organization had seen “no sustained human-to-human transmission.”

It wasn’t until Jan 19 that the WHO began to more openly admit there was “some limited human-to-human transmission occurring between close contacts.”

On Jan. 20, the organization tweeted “there is at least some human-to-human transmission” while also finally acknowledging that health care workers had been getting sick.

Finally, on Jan. 22, the WHO fully admitted that the “[d]ata collected … suggests that human-to-human transmission is taking place in Wuhan.”

Kessler knocked Trump for expecting the WHO to immediately investigate the initial reports about the virus — which is pretty much its only job — and for his unspecific language in charging the WHO with not acknowledging that there was human-to-human transmission until mid-January.

“[H]e puts the onus on the WHO to investigate when it is largely dependent on information provided by member countries,” the “fact-checker” wrote.

“It’s almost a Four-Pinocchio claim but not quite,” Kessler went on. “The WHO could have highlighted the human-to-human transmission sooner than it did and pressed China for more information. Trump, of course, could have done the same — and failed to do so, for weeks longer. Trump earns Three Pinocchios.”

But while Kessler wants to parse words and play semantics in order to accuse Trump of being deceitful, the timeline that he himself put together does little to undermine the president, as do statements he included from both the Taiwanese CDC and the White House in response to his “fact check.”

“Public health professionals could discern from this wording that there was a real possibility of human-to-human transmission of the disease,” the Taiwanese CDC said of its early warning that was ignored. “However, because at the time there were as yet no cases of the disease in Taiwan, we could not state directly and conclusively that there had been human-to-human transmission.”

The senior administration official told Kessler, “Taiwan authorities contacted the WHO about medical staff in Wuhan who were getting ill with a new type of pneumonia, signaling human-to-human transmission,” but noted that Taiwan had been ignored because of political pressure from China.

With regard to the WHO itself, the U.S. official said, “the World Health Organization’s word carries much more weight than those of the Communist Party of China. The world relies on the WHO to be an honest broker.”

“The President has offered positive comments and words of support for President Xi and the Chinese people throughout this global crisis. The world counted on the WHO to assess the rapidly developing outbreak in China in order to contain it at its source. Their inability to do so led to an incalculable loss of human life and immeasurable economic damage. The WHO must be held accountable,” the official added.

While Trump was wrong that say that the WHO said the virus was “not communicable,” Kessler’s fact check goes far beyond that point.

In trying to pin blame on the president, The Post ended up completely missing the point — and inadvertently indicting the WHO in the process.

Furthermore, there is no way that what Trump said could be rated as worthy of three or four Pinocchios, and it isn’t a stretch to suspect that a similar statement from former President Barack Obama or another Democrat would not have been scrutinized as closely or picked apart in the same manner.

This “fact check” is merely the latest example of how, in the eyes of the establishment media, “Orange Man Bad” and everything he says is wrong — even when the facts and timeline prove otherwise.

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Ben Marquis is a writer who identifies as a constitutional conservative/libertarian. He has written about current events and politics for The Western Journal since 2014. His focus is on protecting the First and Second Amendments.
Ben Marquis has written on current events and politics for The Western Journal since 2014. He reads voraciously and writes about the news of the day from a conservative-libertarian perspective. He is an advocate for a more constitutional government and a staunch defender of the Second Amendment, which protects the rest of our natural rights. He lives in Little Rock, Arkansas, with the love of his life as well as four dogs and four cats.
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