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Reality Check of US Allegations Against China on COVID-19 (X)
2020/05/12
 

10. Allegation: China was too late in disclosing information about human-to-human transmission. As a result, the US and the rest of the world had not gained enough knowledge about how contagious and deadly the virus was and therefore failed to respond quickly enough.

Reality Check: The messages from China and the World Health Organization have been timely and strong. The US knows about the danger of the virus all along.

◆ It takes a rigorous scientific process to determine whether a new virus can be transmitted from person to person.

On 9 January, a Chinese expert group had already confirmed on the media that the pathogen was preliminarily determined as a novel coronavirus.

On 20 January, the high-level expert group of the National Health Commission informed the media that the novel coronavirus could be transmitted from person to person. On that day, the US reported no confirmed case.

On 23 January, China sent a powerful warning to the world by putting Wuhan, a city of 12 million people, under lockdown. On that day, the US reported only one case.

◆On 22 January, WHO issued a warning about the potential risk of human-to-human transmission on its website.

On 27 January, WHO raised the level of risk posed by COVID-19 at a global level from moderate to high, noting the risk to be very high in China and high at a regional level.

On 30 January, the WHO International Health Regulations Emergency Committee held a meeting and declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).

◆The US was the first country to pull out personnel from its consulate-general in Wuhan and the first to announce entry restrictions on all Chinese citizens:

As early as on 25 January, the US announced the decision to close its consulate-general in Wuhan and pull out its staff;

On 2 February, the US announced the decision to close borders to all Chinese citizens and foreign nationals who had been to China within the prior 14 days, while it only had eight reported cases on that day.

◆It was not until early March that the US government seriously acknowledged the danger and severity of the spread of the virus in the country.

◆In an opinion article, Jeffrey Sachs, a renowned US economist and Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, criticized the US government for making reckless charges against China, calling them illogical and dangerous. He said that the US government's claim that China is the cause of America's problems is a big lie and recalls the end of McCarthy era.

https://www.jeffsachs.org/blog/m222zmwdpm83mc32ntfbgr38hml4mj

◆The Taiwan authorities claimed that its CDC had warned WHO of the existence of human-to-human transmission of COVID-19 in an email at the end of December 2019, but WHO withheld this information from the world. In response to this allegation, Dr. Michael Ryan, Executive Director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme, clarified on 4 May that the email sent from Taiwan on 31 December 2019 was not a warning, but a request for more information on cases of atypical pneumonia reported by news sources.

https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/transcripts/who-audio-emergencies-coronavirus-press-conference-04may2020.pdf?sfvrsn=3ef4c516_4

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