An over 100-nation coalition led by Australia and the European Union is calling for an independent inquiry into the origin of the CCP virus, and the World Health Organization’s (WHO) response to the outbreak, according to a draft resolution proposed ahead of the World Health Assembly’s (WHA) annual meeting in Geneva on May 18.
The draft report (pdf) for the WHA’s 73rd meeting pushes for an “impartial, independent, and comprehensive” investigation into the CCP virus pandemic, commonly known as the novel coronavirus pandemic. It also calls for a probe into the WHO’s international response to the outbreak, including “their timelines pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“Initiate, at the earliest appropriate moment, and in consultation with the Member States a stepwise process of impartial, independent, and comprehensive evaluation, including using existing mechanisms, as appropriate, to review experience gained and lessons learned from the WHO-coordinated international health response to COVID-19,” the draft resolution states.
India’s support of the probe into the origin of COVID-19—the disease caused by the CCP virus—marks the first time the nation has formally communicated its stance on the issue.
The motion has so far been backed by Australia, all 27 EU member states, and nations including Russia, Japan, New Zealand, Canada, the UK, Brazil, and the Republic of Korea.
It calls on WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus to coordinate with the World Organization for Animal Health, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and nations to carry out “scientific and collaborative field missions” and “identify the zoonotic source of the virus and the route of introduction to the human population, including the possible role of intermediate hosts.”
Trump last month halted funding to the WHO until his administration completes a review over the United Nations agency’s response to the CCP virus crisis.
The president said last month that the WHO may have “misled” the United States amid the outbreak.
“They must’ve known more than they knew because they came after what other people knew that weren’t even involved,” Trump said during a meeting with Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards in the Oval Office on April 29.
“We knew things that they didn’t know. And either they didn’t know or they didn’t tell us, or—you know, right now they’re literally a pipe organ for China. That’s the way I view it.”
Trump noted that the United States has been contributing more than $400 million to the Geneva-based WHO “for many years,” while China contributes only $38 million, he said.
According to the WHO’s records, China contributed $86 million through 2019, while the United States gave $893 million.
“And yet, they [the WHO] seem to work for China. And they should’ve been in there [China] early. They should’ve known what was going on,” Trump said, adding that the WHO could have stopped the spread of the CCP virus.
“Why did China allow planes to fly out but not into China, but they allow planes to come out?” the president also asked. “And planes are coming out of Wuhan, and they’re coming out; they’re going all over the world.”
The proposed motion has not yet received official backing from the United States, however it received vocal support from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last month.
“Who in the world wouldn’t want an investigation of how this happened to the world?” Pompeo said in Washington. “We would urge every country, all of our partners, to demand that we get answers for what happened here, but also that we continue to have—we get the transparency, that the world gets the transparency it needs.”
Mimi Nguyen Ly contributed to this report.