The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday vowed to launch an independent investigation into how the group responded to what became the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I will initiate an independent evaluation at the earliest appropriate moment,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
The probe will encompass “the entirety of the response by all actors, in good faith,” he added.
Tedros said that every country and group “must examine its response and learn from its experience.” The WHO, he continued, “is committed to transparency, accountability and continuous improvement.”
The WHO, which is part of the United Nations, has faced increasingly intense criticism for its closeness with the communist regime ruling China, where the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus broke out last year. The virus causes the disease COVID-19.
Despite voluminous evidence to the contrary, top officials have repeatedly praised Chinese officials and claimed China’s response set an example for other countries to follow.
Tedros was speaking during a virtual meeting of the World Health Assembly, WHO’s decision-making body.
The United States, WHO’s largest contributor, halted funding last month as it reviewed how the group is run and the European Union’s 27 members backed a resolution for an independent probe of WHO’s response to the CCP virus outbreak.
Australia, India, and a slew of other nations have also signed on to the resolution, which calls for starting, “at the earliest appropriate moment,” an independent, impartial, and wide-ranging review of “the WHO-coordinated international health response to” the pandemic.
Chinese leader Xi Jinping at the virtual meeting appeared to back such a review.
“This work needs a scientific and professional attitude, and needs to be led by the WHO. And the principles of objectivity and fairness need to be upheld,” he said. He also claimed that China has, since the pandemic started, “acted with openness, transparency, and responsibility,” providing information to WHO and “relevant countries” in a timely fashion.
Internal documents and video footage obtained by The Epoch Times shows Chinese official consistently manipulated data on the true extent of the outbreak and hid crucial details about the virus’s transmissibility and origins.
Earlier Monday, WHO’s Independent Oversight Advisory Committee published a report (pdf) examining the group’s response to COVID-19.
“Initial information on case fatality rate, severity, and transmissibility furnished by China in early January reflected an incomplete picture of the virus, but were updated by the WHO Secretariat following a country office mission to Wuhan from 20 to 21 January,” it said.
“An imperfect and evolving understanding is not unusual during the early phase of a novel disease emergence.”
Committee members said an independent assessment of WHO’s performance “may be useful” but warned that conducting a review “during the heat of the response, even in a limited manner, could disrupt WHO’s ability to respond effectively.”