Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the WHO, said in a statement that he was “very disappointed” that the Chinese regime has not yet provided permits to health experts to enter the country.
“Today we learned that Chinese officials have not yet finalized the necessary permissions for the team’s arrival in China,” he said. “I am very disappointed with this news given that two members had already begun their journeys [and] others were not able to travel at the last minute.”
Tedros noted that there were arrangements developed between the WHO, China, and an international team to travel to Wuhan, where the novel coronavirus, also known as the CCP virus, is believed to have originated in 2019.
Those officials, the WHO official said, have started traveling from their home countries to China.
“I’ve been in contact with senior Chinese officials [and] I have once again made clear that the mission is a priority for WHO [and] the international team,” he said, adding: “We are eager to get the mission underway as soon as possible.”
The rare public rebuke comes in the midst of criticism that the WHO and Tedros improperly defended the CCP’s handling of the outbreak in early 2020.
President Donald Trump was perhaps the most prominent critic and canceled millions of dollars in U.S. funding to the WHO.
“Throughout this crisis, the World Health Organization has been curiously insistent on praising China for its alleged ‘transparency.’ You have consistently joined in these tributes, notwithstanding that China has been anything but transparent,” Trump wrote in a letter to the WHO last year. “That is why it is my duty, as President of the United States, to inform you that, if the World Health Organization does not commit to major substantive improvements within the next 30 days, I will make my temporary freeze of United States funding to the World Health Organization permanent.”
Residents, journalists, and doctors in Wuhan have said the regime lied about the pandemic. Internal government data has shown that the number of COVID-19 cases is much higher than what was publicly reported in Wuhan, Beijing, and several provinces.
“During the time period of combating the virus, all types of urgent documents, urgent notices, urgent events… internally shared sensitive information, and any information that the [government] leaders haven’t approved to disclose to the public” should be considered state secrets, a CCP government document said.
“The first virus case seemed to appear last November [in 2019]. But Wuhan hadn’t declared a lockdown until Jan. 23 ,” one resident who requested anonymity told The Epoch Times. “They (Chinese authorities) are lying through their teeth,” the person added.
Meanwhile, aside from the WHO’s criticism, The Associated Press and BBC reported that the CCP prevented their journalists from visiting mineshafts and bat caves in China’s Yunnan Province, where Chinese scientists carried out research on the source of the virus.
The bat caves are located in an abandoned copper mine deep in the mountains of Tongguan, a town in Mojiang county of Yunnan Province, in southwestern China. The BBC pointed out that many samples taken from the caves have been transferred to the Wuhan Institute of Virology—a lab located near the Huanan food market that authorities initially hypothesized as the source of the outbreak.
According to the BBC, when its team tried to visit the caves, they were followed by plainclothes police officers and other officials in unmarked cars.
The AP also reported that its journalists were tailed by Chinese security personnel and denied entry into one of the caves in late November. The report pointed out that samples taken from the caves by a bat research team were confiscated.
Alex Wu contributed to this report.