WHO promise review of handling of Covid-19 pandemic

The World Health Organisation says they will begin and independent review of the global coronavirus response “as soon as possible”.

This is being backed by China and most countries are suporting WHO, but the US are still sticking their boot in, continuing to blame WHO and China for the severity of the pandemic.

RNZ:  World Health Organisation promises Covid-19 response review

The World Health Organisation says an independent review of the global coronavirus response will begin as soon as possible, and it received backing and a hefty pledge of funds from China.

But the US administration of President Donald Trump decried an “apparent attempt to conceal this outbreak by at least one member state”.

Trump has already suspended US funding for the WHO after accusing it of being too China-centric.

Without mentioning China by name, US Health Secretary Alex Azar made clear Washington considered the WHO jointly responsible for the pandemic.

“We must be frank about one of the primary reasons this outbreak spun out of control,” he said on Monday.

“There was a failure by this organisation to obtain the information that the world needed, and that failure cost many lives.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping said China had acted with “openness and transparency and responsibility”.

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus defended the organisation’s response.

“WHO sounded the alarm early, and we sounded it often,” he said.

Tedros, who has always promised a coronavirus review, told the forum it would come “at the earliest appropriate moment” and make recommendations for the future.

He received robust backing from the WHO’s independent oversight panel.

“Every country and every organisation must examine its response and learn from its experience,” Tedros said, adding that the review must cover “all actors in good faith”.

In its first report on the handling of the pandemic, the seven-member oversight committee said the WHO had “demonstrated leadership and made important progress in its Covid-19 response”.

It also said “an imperfect and evolving understanding” was not unusual when a new disease emerged.

In an apparent rejoinder to Trump, the panel said a “rising politicisation of pandemic response” was hindering the effort to defeat the virus.

Meanwhile  disagreement in the US over handling of the pandemic and related scapegoating has flared up in public, with Azar defending US efforts.

Fox News – HHS Secretary Azar hits back at Navarro’s criticism of CDC: ‘Inaccurate and inappropriate’

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar hit back Monday at White House trade adviser Peter Navarro for his coronavirus-related criticism of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a striking public spat between two wings of the Trump administration.

“The comments regarding the CDC are inaccurate and inappropriate,” Azar said on Fox News’  “America’s Newsroom” Monday.

Azar’s comments come after Navarro slammed the CDC over the weekend, saying the agency “let the country down” in its early stages of testing for COVID-19.

“Early on in this crisis, the CDC, which really had the most trusted brand around the world in this space — really let the country down with the testing,” Navarro said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “Not only did they keep the testing within the bureaucracy, they had a bad test and that set us back.”

But Azar defended the agency Monday, saying they “had one error, which was in scaling up the manufacturing of the tests they had developed.”

Azar also defended the administration’s coronavirus testing methods, saying that President Trump “is delivering 300,000 tests per day” and that the U.S. has conducted over 10 million tests.

Trump claims US testing is the best in the world (it has now identified over one and a half million cases, but that’s the 39th best testing rate according to Worldometer).

No organisation or country could have handled the rapidly unfolding Covid crisis perfectly. It was impossible to know the best way to respond (that’s still debatable), and most countries were under prepared for any sort of pandemic.

Blaming others is just a way of trying to divert from one’s own inadequacies. The focus should be on learning from mistakes and doing better now and in future health emergencies.

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    • Duker

       /  19th May 2020

      Taiwan has backed down and withdrew its application as Taiwan is heavily involved in Chinese manufacturing and could find ‘ access issues’ if it didnt

  1. david in aus

     /  19th May 2020

    Americans are responsible for the severity of covid19 in their own country. As times change many things stay the same: the need to deflect blame.

    The Chinese government did not manage this well but very few governments have.

    The real problem of covid19 is the asymptomatic carriage/spread, long incubation period, and the mortality rate.

    Like the American government, there was a reluctance in China to choke the economy for a potential pandemic that no one had seen for one hundred years.

    In the future, there will be cry-wolf reactions each time a potential pandemic virus arises. Politicians will err to overreactions as the memories are fresh.

  2. duperez

     /  19th May 2020

    Out the back before the court case the strategy is being plotted. Which question is to be asked of whom, when, in what tone. In the sports changing room before the match coaches and players planning who’s going to do what. On the White House lawn reporters, suitably distanced discussing who’s going to ask what.

    ” I dare you to ask him.”
    ” No, you.”

    Later: “Mr President, you said US testing is the best in the world but the figures show that we actually have the 39th best testing rate according to Worldometer. Could you explain that.”

    “That’s a nasty question. From a nasty reporter, from a loser newspaper. That’s why no-one reads it. Fake news. Next please, over the back …. ” That is how it happens.

    In terms of the USA reception and consumption of a WHO review of the pandemic? Any actual WHO report is irrelevant. Trump should simply get his officials to do the review and write it. They submit it to him, if he doesn’t like it those involved will be sacked, traitors.
    If it says what he wants it to say it’s, “A perfect report, just like the transcript.” 🙃

    • Gezza

       /  19th May 2020

      Good point. Hard to fathom why he’s got such a thing for ranting about China when whenever Xi calls it’s a beautiful call.

  3. NOEL

     /  19th May 2020

    “Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she didn’t believe there was any blame to be laid, but the international community was right to be asking questions, she told Morning Report.”

    I’d go with that. The evidence is pretty clear it was out of Wuhan either by wet market or accidental release from a lab studying the virus.

    Can’t change that but I believe it’s time that the WHO and other UN functions are investigated to determine if their actions favour particular contributors.

    Time to establish if the UN is fit for purpose in this century.


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