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EU calls for independent probe of WHO’s pandemic response


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EU calls for independent probe of WHO’s pandemic response

GENEVA — The World Health Organization bowed to calls Monday from most of its member states to launch an independent probe into how it managed the international response to the coronavirus, which has been clouded by finger-pointing between the U.S. and China over a pandemic that has killed over 300,000 people and leveled the global…

EU calls for independent probe of WHO’s pandemic response

GENEVA–
The World Health Company bowed to calls Monday from many of its member states to launch an independent probe into how it handled the worldwide reaction to the coronavirus, which has actually been clouded by finger-pointing in between the U.S. and China over a pandemic that has actually killed over 300,000 people and leveled the global economy.

The “thorough examination,” sought by a union of African, European and other countries, is intended to examine “lessons discovered” from WHO’s coordination of the worldwide reaction to COVID-19, but would stop short of checking out controversial problems such as the origins of the new coronavirus. U.S. President Donald Trump has actually claimed he has evidence recommending the coronavirus originated in a lab in China while the clinical community has actually insisted all evidence to date shows the virus likely delved into humans from animals.

In Washington on Monday, Trump faulted WHO for having actually done “an extremely sad job” and said he was thinking about whether to cut the annual U.S. financing from $450 million a year to $40 million.

” They offered us a great deal of bad suggestions, terrible guidance,” he stated. “They were incorrect a lot, always on the side of China.”

Later Monday, Trump tweeted a letter he had sent WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. In the letter, Trump said “the only way forward” is if WHO “can actually demonstrate self-reliance from China.”

Trump said that unless WHO dedicates to “substantive improvements over the next 30 days,” he will make a momentary suspension of U.S. financing long-term.

WHO’s typically administrative yearly assembly today has actually been overshadowed by shared recriminations and political sniping between the U.S. and China. Trump has repeatedly assaulted WHO, declaring that it assisted China hide the extent of the coronavirus pandemic in its early stages. Numerous Republican lawmakers have actually called on Tedros to resign.

U.S. Health and Person Provider Secretary Alex Azar said Monday it was time to be frank about why COVID-19 has “spun out of control.”

” There was a failure by this company to get the info that the world needed and that failure expense many lives,” Azar stated. Speaking hours after Chinese President Xi Jinping announced China would supply $2 billion to help respond to the break out and its economic fallout, Azar said the U.S. had allocated $9 billion to coronavirus containment efforts around the globe.

Tedros stated he would release an independent assessment of WHO’s action “at the earliest appropriate moment”– alluding to findings released Monday in a first report by an oversight advisory body commissioned to look into WHO’s action.

The 11- page report raised concerns such as whether WHO’s warning system for alerting the world to break outs is sufficient, and suggested member states may require to “reassess” WHO’s function in providing travel recommendations to nations.

In his opening remarks at the WHO conference, Tedros held firm and looked for to focus on the larger problems postured by the break out, stating “we have actually been humbled by this really small microbe.”

” This contagion exposes the geological fault, inequalities, injustices and contradictions of our modern-day world,” Tedros stated. “And geopolitical departments have actually been thrown into sharp relief.”

China, meanwhile, sought to divert attention to its renewed efforts to slow the coronavirus pandemic, with Xi announcing the $2 billion investment over two years to combat it. Last year, China donated about $86 million to WHO.

U.S. National Security Council representative John Ullyot identified China’s newly revealed contribution as “a token to distract from calls from a growing number of nations requiring responsibility for the Chinese federal government’s failure to satisfy its obligations.” He said that considering that China was “the source” of the break out, it had “an unique responsibility to pay more and give more.”

Xi firmly insisted that China had acted with “openness, transparency and obligation” when the epidemic was spotted in Wuhan. He stated China had offer all appropriate break out data to WHO and other nations, including the virus’s genetic series, “in a most timely style.”

Xi stated that in recent weeks, China has actually dispatched medical products to more than 50 African countries and that 46 Chinese medical groups were presently on the continent helping local authorities.

Other world leaders consisting of the presidents of France, South Korea and South Africa and Germany’s chancellor were likewise piped in to throw their assistance to the WHO, which has been put on the defensive from a Trump administration that has blamed it for mishandling the outbreak and showering extreme appreciation on China’s action. The European Union and others staked out a middle ground.

The Trump administration has actually declared that WHO criticized a U.S. travel ban that Trump purchased on individuals arriving from China.

Trump purchased a momentary suspension of financing for WHO from the United States– the health agency’s most significant single donor– pending an evaluation of its early response. The advisory body, echoing comments from lots of nations, said such an evaluation throughout the “heat of the reaction” could harm WHO’s ability to respond to it.

Xi stated China supports the idea of a comprehensive evaluation of the global reaction to COVID-19 and that it ought to be “based on science and professionalism led by WHO, and carried out in a goal and impartial manner.”

Tedros stressed that WHO stated the coronavirus break out to be a worldwide health emergency on Jan. 30, its greatest level of alert, at a time when there were fewer than 100 cases outside of China. In the following weeks, WHO cautioned nations there was a narrowing “window of opportunity” to avoid the virus from spreading internationally.

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During the first few months of the outbreak, WHO officials consistently explained the infection’s spread as “limited” and said it wasn’t as transmissible as flu; specialists have because said COVID-19 spreads out even faster. It stated the break out to be a pandemic on March 11, after the virus had actually killed thousands globally and stimulated large upsurges in South Korea, Italy, Iran and in other places.

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AP Medical Author Maria Cheng reported from London. Zeke Miller in Washington contributed to this report. And Aamer Madhani added to this report from Chicago

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Follow AP pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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