Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) countries on Thursday called for a thorough review and reform of the World Health Organization (WHO) amid a “lack of transparency and chronic mismanagement” over the CCP virus, according to the White House.
“The leaders recognized that the G7 nations annually contribute more than a billion dollars to the [WHO], and much of the conversation centered on the lack of transparency and chronic mismanagement of the pandemic by the WHO,” the White House said in a statement.
“The leaders called for a thorough review and reform process.”
President Donald Trump chaired a videoconference with the G7 leaders on Thursday, where they reviewed their countries’ efforts to jointly address the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, also known as the novel coronavirus. In their first meeting since March 16, they discussed plans toward recovery in areas of “health, safety, and prosperity.”
“G7 leaders agreed to remain committed to taking every necessary measure to ensure a strong and coordinated global response to this health crisis and the associated humanitarian and economic calamity and to launch a strong and sustainable recovery,” the White House said.
“G7 leaders also discussed efforts to pool their research and talent to combat COVID-19 by sharing all relevant epidemiologic data and emerging best practices, making research data and results publicly available, and providing access to the world’s most powerful supercomputing resources,” the statement continued.
G7 leaders agreed that their ministers will now work together to prepare all their economies to re-open safely and on a foundation that will allow their nations to “reestablish economic growth with more resilient health systems and trusted supply chains,” according to the statement.
The G7 group consists of some of the most advanced economies in the world, and include the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Japan.
Trump on Tuesday announced that the United States would temporarily suspend its funding to the WHO over its handling of the CCP virus pandemic. At the same time, the administration will review its response to the crisis.
The United States is the largest single donor to the Geneva-based WHO, contributing more than $400 million in 2019—roughly 15 percent of its budget. China contributes only about $40 million, according to Trump.
The review is likely to take 60-90 days, Trump said.
The president said that the WHO had “failed in its basic duty and it must be held accountable” and that the group had promoted China’s “disinformation” about the CCP virus that likely led to a broader outbreak of the virus than otherwise would have occurred.
“Had the WHO done its job to get medical experts into China to objectively assess the situation on the ground and to call out China’s lack of transparency, the outbreak could have been contained … with very little death,” Trump said.
“The WHO repeatedly parroted the Chinese government’s claims that the coronavirus was not spreading between humans, despite warnings by doctors and health officials that it was,” Trump said. He noted that it was Taiwan that contacted the WHO on Dec. 31, 2019, to alert the agency of reports of human-to-human transmission of the virus.
“But the WHO kept it from the public,” the president said.
Part of the WHO’s mandate is to coordinate timely responses for any potential risks to international health.
Its current head, Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has consistently praised the Chinese regime for its response to the CCP virus despite its censoring of whistleblowers, medical researchers, and non-state-sanctioned information.
Ghebreyesus had said during a Jan. 28 meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping that the WHO appreciated the “seriousness with which China is taking this outbreak, especially the commitment from top leadership, and the transparency they have demonstrated, including sharing data and genetic sequence of the virus.” He also praised China’s “speed in identifying the virus.”
Instead of declaring a global emergency, the organization recommended that countries not ban travel to China or place any trade restrictions on the country. This was at a time when the WHO acknowledged that at least 12,167 cases of CCP virus had been confirmed and 170 deaths had been attributed to the COVID-19 disease.
Ghebreyesus on March 20 wrote on Twitter that “for the first time, #China has reported no new cases of #covid19 yesterday,” repeating the CCP’s official line, which has been challenged by Chinese netizens.
American lawmakers have called on Ghebreyesus to resign amid accusations of helping the CCP cover up the outbreak and probing whether the WHO is complicit in the manipulation.
Katabella Roberts contributed to this report.