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Tipsheet

Oh My: WHO Director Was Exposed for Covering Up Epidemics...in 2017

Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP, File

The World Health Organization has come under increased scrutiny in recent months for its handling of the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic.

Last night, Taiwan health officials released an email showing they warned the global organization the disease was spreading human-to-human in December. They also asked for cooperation and information.

Led by Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO ignored the warnings on behalf of China and continued for weeks to regurgitate Chinese Communist Party propaganda about the virus. WHO officials also roundly criticized the United States for implementing a travel ban to and from the country.

But it turns out Dr. Ghebreyesus, who was heavily backed by China during his pursuit of his current WHO position, has a history of covering up pandemics. From a March 2017 New York Times article:

A leading candidate to head the World Health Organization was accused this week of covering up three cholera epidemics in his home country, Ethiopia, when he was health minister — a charge that could seriously undermine his campaign to run the agency.

The accusation against Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was made by a prominent global health expert who is also an informal adviser to Dr. David Nabarro, a rival candidate in the race for W.H.O. director general.

During a briefing with reporters at the White House last week, President Trump heavily criticized the WHO for "blowing it" and announced a freeze on funding for the organization. Dr. Ghebreyesus responded with somewhat of a threat.

"If you don't want many more body bags, then you refrain from politicizing it," he said.

Dr. Ghebreyesus made the accusation of "politicization" against President Trump after deeply engaging in politics on behalf of China and against Taiwan. The results have been fatal and economically devastating for millions of people around the world.

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