According to German Intelligence, during the first few weeks of the Covid-19 pandemic’s unfolding, Chinese President Xi Jinping phoned Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Thebreyesus and asked him not to release knowledge that the virus was transmittable between humans and to hold off on declaring the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, reported German newspaper, Der Spiegel.
On Jan 21., only a week after the WHO declared there was “no clear evidence” of human to human transmission, Xi asked Thebreyesus to withhold confirmation that indeed the opposite was true.
Additionally, on Dec. 31 Taiwanese authorities confirmed human to human transmission was likely taking place in Wuhan. Despite the concern from Taiwan, the WHO ignored the request, and still excludes the island nation from cooperation and acceptance into the global pandemic response community.
“On December 31, Taiwan’s government, alarmed by developments in Wuhan, the Chinese city where the virus first appeared, expressed concerns to the World Health Organization (WHO) about the virus’s potential for human-to-human transmission. But it received no reply” wrote Council on Foreign Nations (CFN.org).
Instead, the WHO upheld China’s denial of human-to-human transmission till Jan 21. Despite the WHO’s exclusion of Taiwan, the island nation’s government’s response has been a world-wide example of how to deal with the pandemic. Taiwain maintained 380 confirmed cases and 5 deaths with a population of 23.6 million. Considering frequent travel between China and Taiwan, Taiwan has used several tactics to keep their numbers down.
“Taiwan adopted vigorous measures for screening, testing, contact tracing, and enforcing quarantines. These measures were aided by technology and big data, as well as the cooperation of citizens who remain highly vigilant due to their traumatic 2003 experience with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)” wrote CFN.org.
As the virus has spread across the globe and to all continents with a death toll of over 280,000 deaths, the United States, Australia, Sweden and many other Western nations have started to ask questions about this recent pandemic.
“All I can say is wherever it came from — it came from China, in whatever form — 184 countries are suffering because of it. And it’s too bad, isn’t it? It could have been solved very easily when it was just starting” said President Donald Trump said in a press conference.